Monday, March 15, 2010

First Knight

Year 2, Day 74 - 3/15/10 - Movie #439

BEFORE: Back-to-back Sean Connery films, as he takes the role of King Arthur here, with Richard Gere as Lancelot.

THE PLOT: Lancelot falls in love with Guinevere, who is due to be married to King Arthur. Meanwhile, a violent warlord tries to seize power from Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

AFTER: At first I wasn't sure about Gere playing Lancelot, especially since he's the central figure here, but he pulls it off, wavy-haired mullet and all. Of course, we all know the love triangle that develops between old Lance, Queen Guinevere (Julia Ormond) and King Arthur. Lancelot loves the Queen, and thus betrays the King.

But it seemed like the movie was going to neatly avoid the conflict by making Lancelot a lone wolf, an outsider who dwells in the forest and serves only himself (free-lancelot?) but after rescuing Gwinny 6 or 7 times, Arthur figures he'd better put him on Camelot's payroll.

After several nights of jousting and riding around on horses, finally I get to see some big medieval battle scenes - army vs. army as the ex-knight Malegant's forces overrun Guinevere's homeland, and Arthur's forces must go and defend it. Lancelot is clearly the best combat fighter, and this is explained by stating that he doesn't care if he lives or dies.

This is a troubled Lancelot, haunted by the memories of watching his family die in a burning church. He's also a post-"Star Wars" knight, representing the best of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo rolled into one - though his lightsaber is made out of this funny metal-like substance...

Also starring Ben Cross as Malegant, with a cameo by Sir John Gielgud.

RATING: 7 out of 10 flaming arrows

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