Knight's Tale, A
Heath Ledger, Mark Addy, Rufus Sewell
Directed By:
Brian Helgeland
Grade C

A Knight's Tale is your usual rags to riches type of film, in which Heath Ledger pretends to be a knight so he and his friends can win the prize money at a jousting tournament. Once he gets a taste of what could be, he decides to continue pretending being nobility so he can win other tournaments. Along the way, he runs into Jeffrey Chaucer (of Cantebury Tales fame) who aides the would-be knight in giving him "faked" papers of his supposedly family line. Heath Ledger also falls in love with the noble woman, who also has the fancy of the black armor wearing opponent, played by Sewell.

The one gimick that A Knight's Tale was promoting was their inclusion of modern music (Queen, David Bowie, AC/DC) into the flow of the film. To their credit, the times that it is done, it's pulled off effectively with some charm. The drawback, though, is that it's not used often enough to be considered an effective part of the film, so when it does occur, it still feels a bit out of place. Of course, seeing peasants stomp their feet and clap their hands to We Will Rock You was kind of funny.

Storywise, the movie is pretty formulaic. In fact, the story itself is standard fare. The main characters don't really illicit much concern from viewers. To be honest, I found the side characters to be far more interesting. Even without more back-story and depth, they easily outshined Ledger and Sewell's characters. I would say that the jousting sequences were pretty good, but I think they were hampered by the fact that you basically knew how the story was going to play out. If you've seen any other love-story influenced rags-to-riches films, you know how this one ends.

This is not to say it's all bad. As I mentioned before, the supporting cast is fairly good and their quirky interactions add an air of humor that is needed. The settings and costuming, while not historically accurate, are nicely done.

A Knight's Tale is a decent view for those who don't really care for ingenuity. It's a quirky and light-hearted film that tries to get Ledger's face more out in the public. With stronger writing, his character might have been more interesting. In all, though, this movie is nothing more than a rental.

- - Vane

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