Heath Ledger (The Patriot) stars as William in this historic action tale with some modern additions that may or may not boost your level of entertainment.
Directed by Brian Hegleland (Payback), A Knight’s Tale has plenty of action, adventure and comedy. Hegleland also wrote and produced this entertaining movie. He and his crew should be commended for several wonderful camera shots, jousting effects, and vibrant sets, but these elements get repetitive a times.
Set in Europe during a chivalrous time where knights, lords and ladies were abound, this movie puts the sport of jousting on the same level as modern-day football in current times (both sports with huge followings) as William takes a chance at becoming more than his social status usually allows.
The story sets up William’s quest with the inevitable training sequence and journey to the jousting tournament in which he and his friends the level-headed Roland, played by Mark Addy (Full Monty, Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas), and the quick-tempered Wat, played by Alan Tudyk (28 Days, Hearts of Atlantis) make some important relationships on the way. Paul Bettany has a great role as Chaucer, a writer who plays a unique role in William’s quest as does a female blacksmith played by Laura Fraser (Titus, Man in the Iron Mask).
Hawaiian born Shannyn Sossamon makes her feature film debut as Jocelyn, William’s love interest. Sossamon gets a good role that thankfully doesn’t even get close to the realm of the stereotypical lady in distress waiting for the hero to help her.
So we have the friends and the love interest, but where is the bad guy? Enter the antagonist Count Adhemar, Rufus Sewell (Bless the Child, Woodlanders, Dangerous Beauty), who provides predictable problems for William and his crew. With such a late entrance and low amounts of screen time, it’s amazing that Sewell got second billing on this movie.
The story stays with a standard set-up except modern songs play throughout as the characters interact (clap to the beat, etc.), but don’t go as far as lip syncing high-powered songs from such musical artists as Queen, AC/DC, Eric Clapton Bachman-Turner Overdrive, David Bowie, and Sly & the Family Stone. If you can get past this entertaining element, you’ll enjoy the movie much more. The story has good morals of honor and mercy shown through William, but some of the staged scenes are a bit heavy-handed and cheesy at time. Still, a very entertaining movie with plenty of humor, action, romance, and authentic depictions of jousting.
Recommended and rated PG-13 for violence, nudity (for comic effect) and sexual references. This 2 hour and 12 minute movie was filmed in the Czech Republic. Don’t forget to watch after the ending credits for a unique contest.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler