File this under: What Did You Expect?! Martin Lawrence's latest filmic disaster puts him in jolly olde England of the 14th Century, where he's stranded until he can actually deliver a decent joke. Okay, I'm being a wiseass, but the fact remains that there isn't a real laugh to be found here.The real plot, just for the record, has Lawrence as a grunt at a medieval-themed amusement park, who falls into the moat and winds up some 600 years in the past. Lawrence is mistaken as a Moor from France ('cause he lived on Normandie Street, a cheap joke that gets belabored from one end of the movie to the other), and becomes entangled in an insurrection in progress.
Lawrence is appallingly unfunny. Somebody needs to tell this man that the essence of comedy has little to do with screwing up your face and making squealing noises like Sam Kinison having an epileptic fit. And he has almost nothing to work with, as his material here essentially consists of an unending stream of lame anachronistic jokes. That is, whenever director Gil Junger (a sitcom veteran, natch) isn't aping every recent medieval flick you can name, with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves providing, it seems, much in the way of inspiration, right down to a glowering Vincent Regan as the Alan Rickman stand-in.
Black Knight just never hits the right tone. Rather jarringly, the film sports that swooping gathering-storm music one tends to associate with serious costume epics. Even more jarringly, Junger seems to think he's directing Braveheart 2, amping up the action scenes to the point where you expect Mel Gibson to arrive upon his steed and lop Lawrence's head off his shoulders...but don't let me get carried away here.
The only bright spot here is Marsha Thomason, who is genuinely winsome as Lawrence's love interest, and gets the film's only close-to-witty line: when Lawrence professes that he'd go to the end of the Earth for her, she replies, "That's only six miles from here."Unfortunately, that comes at the tail-end of the longest 95-minute film you'll see this year.