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Black Knight: Recycled Laughs

  • Holly McClure Movie Reviewer
  • 2001 11 Nov
  • COMMENTS
<I>Black Knight</I>: Recycled Laughs

Black Knight - PG-13

Best for: Mature, older fans of Lawrence

What it's about: Jamal (Martin Lawrence) is a disgruntled employee at Medieval World, a dilapidated theme park in need of repair and customers. After falling into the park's stinking and rancid moat, Jamal crawls out into 14th century England, where he encounters knights in shining armor and damsels in distress. Jamal quickly befriends Sir Knolte (Tom Wilkinson), a drunk and destitute knight, a feisty heroine (Marsha Thomason) who wants to be liberated from her repressive 14th century world, and the villainous knight Percival (Vincent Regan), who is suspicious of Jamal. He also gets caught up in a rebellion against an evil king.

The good: The intrigue with taking a modern day man and placing him back in time in a medieval setting has been done before but never with a street-smart, wise-cracking black knight. Lawrence uses 21st century hip-hop dress, dialogue (mostly sexual innuendoes) and street smarts (mostly football and wrestling techniques, along with an interesting choreographed dance number) to help his new friends.

The not-so-good: Lawrence tends to play the same kind of characters in different settings, relying on his whiny cowardice and awkward bedroom foreplay to give the storyline laughs. I'm not a big fan of Lawrence; he seems to recycle the same old style of comedy and jokes in each of his movies. This movie's few funny moments revolve around the era in which it takes place, but Lawrence depends on sexual humor rather than comedic timing to make the comedy work.

Offensive language: Lots of sexual dialogue between several characters, with numerous and crude sexual innuendos. Dialogue about thong underwear, discussions of a woman being deflowered and "spoiled," crude comments about French kissing and a man's endowment, along with several homosexual references. A man goes into a "bathroom," which turns out to be a hole in the ground, with flies buzzing about. A drunken man staggers in several scenes; in one scene he passes out.

Sexual situations: Several bedroom situations. We see bare backs and shoulders of men and women, but nothing else. In one scene, a woman is wrapped in a blanket and lets it fall, and we watch a man react to her nudity; nothing is shown. A woman lies on a table exposing some cleavage and licking her lips seductively. A man and woman make noises to make it seem like they are having sex.

Violence: A beheading, and a glimpse of the head dropping off. A man picks up the head. One scene shows many severed heads on sticks. Men are shot with flaming arrows, a man holds a knife to a woman's throat and then cuts her (we see a bloody line across her neck). The townspeople storm the castle, and a fight ensues, with many people shot with arrows, stabbed with daggers, punched and kicked. Several fights involve swordplay and wrestling. A man shoves another man's face (mouth open) into a pile of dung. A man is chased by three lions in an arena. Medieval realism and violence.

Parental advisory: This PG-13 movie is not "kid-friendly." Sexual themes and dialogue make this a movie for older teens and adult audiences.