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Black Knight

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Black Knight

Starring: Martin Lawrence, Tom Wilkinson
Director: Gil Junger
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 95 Minutes
Release Date: November 2001
Genres: Comedy, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Kevin Conway, Dikran Tulaine, Erik Jensen, Marsha Thomason

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1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
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Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

"Ask not what your fiefdom can do for you. Ask what you can do for your fiefdom," Jamal Walker (Martin Lawrence), known to the locals as Skywalker, lectures the medieval peasants in Gil Junger's BLACK KNIGHT. In a good-spirited comedy that is a time traveling A KNIGHT'S TALE crossed with a bit of the WIZARD OF OZ, Lawrence finds a perfect part for his talents. He can be quite obnoxiously annoying as he was in the aptly named WHAT'S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?, but this time he is nothing short of wonderfully charming and side-splittingly funny.

Jamal, a moat cleaner at a rundown medieval amusement park, falls into the water while retrieving what proves to be a magical medallion. This accident forever changes his life after he finds himself smack dab in the Middle Ages. For a long time, however, he thinks he is just in a new theme park called Castle World.

When Jamal asks the first fair damsel he meets for her number, she says it's 7. He finds out that her name is Victoria (Marsha Thomason), and she is the seventh of the ladies-in-waiting to the princess. The script uses the juxtaposition of Jamal's modern dialog ("You might want to take a chill pill.") to the ye's and thou's of the period to spice up many humorous episodes. Mainly eschewing bathroom humor, the movie makes the most of its few cruder moments. Jamal, for example, isn't wild about using the privy because he can't stand the thought of using straw in place of toilet paper.

The plot has Jamal being enlisted in a scheme to remove the present king and restore the deposed queen to the throne. It's not all hard work for him. Along the way he gets to party with the court and bed the lasses. It's a simple story and works well in supplying ample opportunity for Lawrence to show off his comedic skills. And it has a great ending that leaves the audience roaring with laughter.

BLACK KNIGHT runs 1:45. It is rated PG-13 for "language, sexual/crude humor and battle violence" and would be acceptable for kids around 9 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 12, gave the film ***. He thought it was funny, and he liked the way that it took so long for Jamal to figure out where he was.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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