In some ways the film is steeped in colonialism. The main character brings a Native American from the French colonies. The beast was purloined from the African continent presumably also from a French colony. But we see that while creatures3 are quite powerful, they aren't quite so powerful as a white man, who always has the strength to defeat them. We also see that sickly and somewhat-effeminate males are also easily defeated by these strong men. The only person who could potentially defeat him appears to be a femme fatale,4 however, because of his extreme masculinity and power she seems to fall in love with him and refuses to actually kill him.
While there are troubling racial, colonial, classed, and gendered problems throughout the movie, it nevertheless has some pretty awesome action sequences. It also maintains a bit of a fairy-tale like quality. The Big Bad Wolf is slain by the lumberjack and everyone rejoices. The political intrigue also makes it a fun story to plot as you try to figure out who is working for whom, and what their ultimate goals are.
The DVD contains both a subtitled and a dubbed version. Dubbing should be illegal. But if you're too dumb to read, you shouldn't worry, you can still enjoy this movie.
1. Dacascos was born in Hawaii and is actually of Filipino, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Irish descent. Which I suppose somewhat justifies his casting as The Chairman of Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef: America.
2. Redundant, I know.
3. I use this term on purpose, because Dacascos character in many ways is treated simply as a noble savage by those who like him, and as a beast by those who do not.
4. In this case, a papal assasin and prostitute played by Monica Bellucci.