Year 2, Day 69 - 3/10/10 - Movie #434
BEFORE: Essentially, this should be (more or less) the same movie as last night's film, just with Martin Lawrence in place of Bing Crosby. It's another take on the "get hit on the head and visit Camelot" idea.
THE PLOT: Jamal, an employee in Medieval World amusement park, sustains a blow to the head, and awakens to find himself in 14th century England.
AFTER: Actually, he doesn't get hit on the head, he drowns in a theme-park moat, and wakes up in medieval Times, thinking that it's a new rival theme park, Castleworld (very authentic, right down to the smelly animals and dirty latrines...
Jamal "Sky" Walker arrives at the castle of the pretender king, and is mistaken for a messenger from France (South Central France, apparently...) and his antics and inability to ride a horse are explained by his moonlighting as a court jester.
Of course, he falls in love with one of the princess's maids, and the princess herself falls for him, and he's eventually knighted as Lord Skywalker (cute...). He also befriends a drunk, down-on-his luck ex-knight, Sir Knolte (Tom Wilkinson) - is that a reference to "48 Hours"?
And the "Johnny B. Goode" moment comes when he hastily instructs the medieval musicians how to play Sly & the Family Stone's "Dance to the Music", despite its extremely tricky bass line and horn riffs - this was probably the highlight of the film for me.
The well-timed eclipse is replaced here with a well-timed rebellion plot against the king, which seemed slightly more realistic - and I liked how Walker's getting in trouble and being thrown in the dungeon actually provided the break that the rebels needed.
Unlike other (unnecessary?) remakes like "King Kong" and "Clash of the Titans", I felt this was a story that really needed the update - of course there's a vast difference between Bing Crosby as a 1912 blacksmith and Martin Lawrence as a modern guy from the 'hood, and that all added to the humor.
Also starring Darryl Mitchell ("Galaxy Quest"), Kevin Conway (last seen as a general in "13 Days", and cool, he also had a small role in "Slaughterhouse Five").
RATING: 5 out of 10 broadswords