Black Knight

Starring:
Martin Lawrence as Jamal Walker
Tom Wilkinson as Sir Knolte
Marsha Thomason as Victoria
Vincent Regan as Percival
Greg Cooper as Rebel Leader
Kevin Conway as King Leo
Erik Jensen as Derek
Dikran Tulaine as Dennis

Summary:
If your idea of fun is seeing Martin Lawrence running around yelling slang to confused Brits, this movie is for you.

Story:
Jamal Walker is an employee at a medieval themed urban amusement park. Somehow, he gets magically transported back to England in the 1300’s. Initially believing he’s at a rival castle themed amusement park, he plays along and is accepted by the evil king. However, he soon learns that he’s in a real and dangerous situation. He only wants to go home, but a beautiful black British medieval woman (?) recruits him in a rebellion to overthrow the king and restore the rightful queen. Jamal must overcome his own fears and selfishness to save the day.

Rated PG-13 for language, sexual/crude humor and battle violence.

What Worked:
As a Star Wars fan, I can always appreciate a funny reference to the films. As Jamal enters the court of the king, he introduces himself as Jamal Skywalker. Through the rest of the film he’s referred to as Lord Skywalker or Sir Skywalker. Yes, they ran the joke into the ground, but it was funny at first.

There’s also one funny physical gag as Jamal charges in as the Black Knight. I don’t want to ruin it for you, though, because it was the only genuine laugh for me in the film. It had a great setup.

What Didn’t Work:
Martin Lawrence is like the class clown who is desperate to get laughs. Black Knight is pretty much an hour and a half of him doing the same joke over and over again and mugging for the camera. He keeps throwing out urban slang at confused medieval Brits and making incomprehensible references to the future which they can’t understand. As it drags on, he varies things a bit by doing it louder and more outrageously. After a while of his babbling and annoying antics, I got the feeling I was watching Jar Jar Binks. One character sums it up best in the movie when he says something like, “It’s amazing how he keeps it up long after it isn’t funny.” My thoughts exactly.

What makes this movie so bad is that the entire film is nothing but Martin Lawrence doing this one joke. If you like him, then this is great. If not, avoid it at all costs. I wouldn’t even recommend this as a renter.

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