BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
A Knight’s Tale ★★★★
A jolly, anachronistic romp set in the 14th century. Heath Ledger is the young squire to a knight. When his master dies during a joust, Ledger pretends to be a knight himself and — along with his friends Mark Addy and Alan Tudyk — joins the jousting circuit in England and France. The Black Prince puts in an appearance; so does Geoffrey Chaucer, who becomes Ledger’s PR. Nasty nobleman Rufus Sewell, an ace jouster, is Ledger’s chief adversary, each vying for the hand of Shannyn Sossamon, whose accent indicates that she arrived in Europe by way of Southern California. It doesn’t all work but the cast is agreeable, the jousting is well done and the crowds sing that 14th-century favourite We Are the Champions.
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey ★★★★
Or should that be Bill and Ted go to Hell, as the California slackers with dreams of rock immortality end up dead and forced to play Death at everything from Battleship to Twister to be revived. Heinous for them but pure hilarity for us.
Eagle Eye ★★★★
Hitchcockian suspense and 1970 paranoia abound as Shia Laboeuf and Michelle Monaghan are framed as terrorists by a mysterious phone-caller.
Rush Hour ★★★★
Hong Kong action superstar Jackie Chan and cocky American comedian Chris Tucker are the unlikely cop buddies dealing with an international kidnapping in this fun and frenetic martial arts action comedy.
Hot Fuzz ★★★★
American action flick meets English murder mystery when mismatched cops Simon Pegg and Nick Frost try to solve a string of grisly deaths in the country in this terrific romp from the Shaun of the Dead crew.