Heath Ledger, Rufus Sewell, Shannyn Sossamon, Paul Bettany, Mark
Addy and Alan Tudyk
Directed ( and surprising written) by
My lords and
ladies, dames and squires, I sayeth this is by far the greatest
of far fetched farces to hitteth our fair screens in more than
a full moon's time. For whometh is this filmeth?
from the very first thirty frames you know you'd better have a
keen sense of where the red exit signs are...You'll be wanting,
nay, yearning for their swift release shortly.
Heath Ledger. Such a handsome young lad in a wholesome-then-rough-then-wholesome
way. He's just picked such a stupid movie. It could have been
fantastic. We've all been seasoned in period pieces with hunky
Australian stars recently, and are minds are open to the next
delight. Even Heath himself was one of the men from down under
softening our cold hearts in The Patriot.
story is sweet. It's really the sets, costuming, and physical
ambience of the cast. I have seen far better attempts at recreating
mediaeval hovels and towns by tribes of rowdy- traveling-patchouli-
wearing-hippy-like- one -step-from-Barnum-showman who joust each
other for a Carney's wage at the Renaissance Festivals. The costumes
these traveling actors throw together, for probably under 13.00
are better researched, as well as realistic, then their Hollywood
cousins. The best repetitive example of time-piece no-nos is the
fashion choices for our knight's beloved, Jocelyn (an exotic gal
Shannyn Sossamon- hardly a chick you'd find in merry ol' England
back then). She continually looks as if some one has stolen a
wardrobe from the production next door. The worst get up this
gal sports is reproduction look-a-like from the Björk World
Tour 1991. The best? The Audrey Hepburn circa Breakfast at
Tiffany's ensemble she wears to the mud and blood jousting
event of her would be lord.
even worse then the set and clothing faux pas? The brilliant straight
TEETH the whole cast of A Knight's Tale's has! If we know
nothing else about England we all know their teeth are and have
always been a bit icky. Geese back then if there was a solitary
tooth peeking out from the ruddy ruby lips you were of great blue
blood. Just give us one black tooth; a hint of gingivitis, something.
Story goes...Young William Thatcher (Heath "switching agents
as we speak" Ledger) is a servant. His boss kicks the bucket
conveniently in the middle of a jousting tournament. He gets a
thought. He'll take his lord's place and win the round. He does.
Then he thinks, " Hey, that was a bit of fun, wasn't it.
I think I'll go again."
and two of his close friends (Mark Addy and Alan Tudyk), also
unemployed by the lord's demise, assist the young buck in training
for the next soiree of swords, and loud lances (scenes too long
and dragged out to keep their comic appeal). They find a wonderful
character enroute to their next game Geoff Chaucer (Paul - stole
every scene he graced and almost made them bearable - Bettany),
a scribe. A writer . He helps William with his pedigree papers.
see you have to be nobleman to have your torso slammed with a
big stick by a armored man trotting at you at 40 mph, er, joust.
Not just anyone gets that privilege! No peasants, street people
or regular Joe's. No siree Bob. It's for the upper crust.
now cleverly disguised with a snooty upper crusty name, Sir Ulrich
von Lichtenchittychittybangstein, starts to really kick mediaeval
butt. And naturally Ulrich/Will falls armor over heels for a prissy
lady in waiting, Jocelyn (Shannyn- think Winona Ryder-Sossamon).
Jocelyn is a grade "A" bitch in any century. This is
the starlet that's taking the academy award for the most noticeably
wrong costuming- ever in a motion picture. Did anyone involved
in this film ever even see Camelot? I mean shouldn't you
try and match the movies era a wee bit for the sake of avoiding
audience laughter? She had hairpieces strung with florescent highlights;
her breasts were hanging out of her see-through gothic/punk/Björky
get-ups more then once upon a time. As if she wouldn't have been
burned at the steak as a witch long ago.
Ms Jocelyn starts ordering her new love William/Ulrich to prove
himself to her, after a one awkward date. Hag girl wants him to
prove his love by losing the tournament!!! Yeah, that's sweet
huh? Natch, he obeys.... even in 1458 they had the term "pussywhipped"
they just called it "ode-ing to the warm undergarments"
but there's more suspense. Ulrich/Will has a nemesis named Count
Arbruzzisausageadhemar (Rufus -who is this magnet of my affection?-
Sewell) or something. He wants the tournament, and he wants the
girl. Yawn. Though he's rather sexy in an extremely token bad
guy way. If they had one more redundant shot of The Count's eyes
full screen, CUT TO: Heath's ( Will/Ulrich's) eyes full screen
I was physically walking out. Professionalism aside. It was so
campy you could almost hear the high plains drifter music from
Hang 'Em High.
there's nothing here folks. Well, except this young cutey Paul
Bettany. He's the only one really worth watching. He appears
to be a real actor. I mean he managed to rise above even this
crap le filtheth and deliver his parts with style and depth. Not
an easy feat. Keep an eye out for this bloke of extreme talent!
soundtrack is not what you'd first think: balalaikas and harpsichords.
The film makers have got the badly clad extras chanting Queen's
"We Will Rock You" at the jousting match, and teen-heart
throb Heath and Shannyn dance to David Bowie's "Fame"
at the great noble hall. Is Bowie that old??? Was he around back
then too? Glamour rock was in a while ago...Hmm I'm going
to check out the back of my cd for copyright info...
this. If you've got a young member of the family who's smitten
with Ledger first try and convince them to re-rent The Patriot.
Then, if you must go, remember you're the one who chose to breed
and take your medicine in the form of a really pathetic film that
doesn't know if it's a romantic tale about a manly would-be- knight
or a thrown together vehicle for one of the cutest actors to burst
on the scene since we first laid eyes on Mr. Brad Pitt.
aside: I still think Heath is a reincarnation of Andy Gibb. When
did Andy die? I must check this theory out.
recommendation: A bucket of those huge tacky turkey legs you
find at the huge tacky Renaissance Fair- or a seedy meat market.