What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has very salty language for a PG-13, including a slightly obscured but very strong four-letter word. In addition to the violence mentioned above (mostly comic and bloodless, but with real injuries and deaths), there's a beheading. There are a number of sexual references and situations, including a discussion of "French" kissing, characters making sounds so that people nearby will think they are having sex, and a man who has sex with a woman because he thinks she is a different woman. Minority and female characters are smart and brave (though not always seen that way by others).
What's the story?
Inspired by Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, BLACK KNIGHT stars Martin Lawrence as Jamal, an employee of a run-down medieval theme park. After grabbing for a mysterious amulet while cleaning the moat, he falls into the water and comes up in a lake. It turns out that he's been transported back to 1328, and a usurper king mistakes him for a Moorish messenger. Jamal is astonished by the odd medieval world (They behead people! And they have awful bathrooms!), and the locals are equally astonished at his behavior. Jamal becomes interested in a pretty chambermaid who is a part of a conspiracy to bring back the real queen, and he's pursued by but the daughter of the usurper king.
Is it any good?
It's nice to see the material here coming a little closer to Martin Lawrence's considerable talents. Lawrence is a very funny guy who is usually a lot better than the movies around him, which tend to play as though half the script reads, "Martin enters and does funny things."
Black Knight is a classic comedy set-up that could easily have starred any movie comedian skilled in pratfalls, from Buster Keaton to Jerry Lewis to Jim Carrey. There is a lot of slapstick, a little romance, fights with swords, arrows, and a couple with fists, and it all moves along pretty painlessly, helped by some good gags and Lawrence's facility with physical comedy.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why we're drawn to stories in which a character finds themselves in an entirely different time. What other films can you think of where this is the premise? If you created a similar story, what century would your character land in?
|Theatrical release date:||November 21, 2001|
|DVD/Streaming release date:||April 16, 2002|
|Cast:||Marsha Thomason, Martin Lawrence, Tom Wilkinson|
|Studio:||Twentieth Century Fox|
|Run time:||95 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||language, sexual/crude humor and battle violence|