A Knight's Tale

A Knight's Tale

Brian Helgeland (2001)

126min
PG Certificate
Tuesday 9:40pm - 12:05am RTÉ2
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Review

Our Score
This irreverent medieval caper sets out its stall right at the start, when Queen's anthem-like We Will Rock You thuds on to the soundtrack at a joust. So far, so anachronistic. But the real twist is that the 14th-century spectators join in and clap in time. It's that kind of film, full of such cheeky flourishes - jousting fans sing rock songs, emcees talk up contestants like it's WWF wrestling, and dancers at a royal banquet groove to David Bowie's Golden Years. Writer/director Brian Helgeland - whose directorial debut, Payback with Mel Gibson, was reportedly taken from him and re-shot - certainly enjoys himself here, and so does his cast. Heath Ledger plays the commoner who dreams of being a knight, and so impersonates one with the help of sidekicks Mark Addy (his best role since The Full Monty), Alan Tudyk and Paul Bettany (who casually steals the film with his portrayal of writer Geoffrey Chaucer). It's tremendous, infectious fun, with a rocking soundtrack, and everyone concerned enters into the spirit of it (including Rufus Sewell as the evil Count Adhemar). If there's a downside, it's Helgeland's occasionally inexperienced handling of the action scenes, and the fact that, frankly, if you've seen one jousting match, you've seen 'em all.

Summary

A poverty-stricken squire spies an opportunity to make his dreams come true when his employer dies. He takes his place as a knight, launching himself on the road to riches by competing in jousting tournaments, but his ruse is jeopardised by a dastardly nobleman. Comedy adventure, starring Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany, Mark Addy, Shannyn Sossamon and Rufus Sewell.

Cast & Crew

William Thatcher/Sir Ulric of Liechtenstein Heath Ledger
Geoffrey Chaucer Paul Bettany
Roland Mark Addy
Wat Alan Tudyk
Count Adhemar Rufus Sewell
Lady Jocelyn Shannyn Sossamon
Kate Laura Fraser
John Thatcher Christopher Cazenove
Director Brian Helgeland
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia TriStarGuidance: Nudity, edited for violence and language.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray
Comedy Drama