Apparently there's been some confusion. While most critics have dismissed A Knight's Tale for its silly anachronistic musical stylings, others have derided the picture for being fairly aimless and full of carbon-copy action sequences and uninteresting characters. But these people are missing what makes this movie particularly awful:It's dull! Duller than Martha Stewart, Regis Philbin and Marie Osmond combined. Diggity-Dig-Dag-Dull. It's so dull that if this movie were a knife, it would be a spoon. Oh, and it's also slow, yawn-inspiring and fairly snail-like in its forward progression skills.
I need to start bringing hatpins to the movies more often. It's either that or just start doing jumping jacks at random points in the movie. The much-derided "modern music" was not a real point of contention with me. The tunes showed up every ten minutes, blasting loudly. And much like my handy snooze alarm, the bombast would then fade away for another 15 minutes. I would awake again.
The plot outline tells the story of a young peasant teen hunk Tiger Beat cover boy who pretends to be a knight. He jousts. A lot. There's more jousting in this movie than there is water in The Little Mermaid. If you took all the jousting sequences out of this movie, you'd be left with 11 minutes of actors covered in cow poop.
So aside from the aforementioned j-o-u-s-t-i-n-g, there are some character actors you may recognize playing caricatures you'll definitely recognize. Mark Addy takes a lateral career step here after appearing as Fred in that Flintstones Rock tha Crack House sequel. Rufus Sewell plays a slimy villain with a lazy eye. I had such high hopes for this guy after Dark City but before Bless the Child. Alan Tudyk who was the retarded freak with wacky hair in 28 Days does a stunning turnabout and plays a retarded freak with wacky hair. And let's not even get into how many times the audience is subjected to the sight of Paul Bettany's skinny white a$$ in this movie. For no discernable reason at all, Bettany is playing the poet Geoffrey Chaucer and is therefore required to spend nearly every moment onscreen either A) naked or B) coated in excrement.
There are two lovely ladies vying for the knight's attention, one a stately and frigid princess-type and the other a beautiful but unfortunately lower-class blacksmith gal. Guess which one the knight smooches. What's particularly odd is that that Kate the blacksmith girl is easily the most interesting character in the movie. Logically, she has the fewest lines of dialogue.
The drear culminates with of course the Would Jousting Championships. It is here we are treated to long-lost blind pappies, the inevitable smoochy-smooch and of course eleventeen more jousting thingies. For some reason, this movie kept reminding me of sponge cake.
Writer-director Brian Helgeland seems to be working on some bizarre form of career hari-kari. He followed his brilliant script for L.A. Confidential with steadily stupider movies, such as Conspiracy Theory, The Postman, Payback and now this lightweight fluff. I guess you write better when you're hungry.I was planning on giving this one a mild break due to its own playful and self-referential tone. All that ended when the cutie blacksmith girl carved two Nike symbols into our hero's armor. As far as product placement is concerned, apparently there's always a new way to insult your audience.