Honor Secures Liberty
Release Date: November 21, 2001
Audience: Teenagers & adults
Runtime: 101 minutes
Distributor: 20th Cent. Fox
Director: Gil Junger
Address Comments To:Peter Chernin, Chairman & CEO
The Fox Group
Tom Rothman & Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen
Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A division of Fox, Inc. & News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
Comedian Martin Lawrence stars in BLACK KNIGHT as Jamal Walker, a young black man from South Central Los Angeles who mysteriously travels back in time to Medieval England. Jamal falls in love with a black lady-in-waiting named Victoria (she’s apparently a Moor from North Africa), poses as Jamal Skywalker, the messenger from a French duke, and becomes friends with a dissolute former knight with a drinking problem. Jamal discovers that the evil King of England has stolen his crown from the former Queen. He uses his 21st century street smarts and modern-day sports moves to help his new friends. In return, Jamal learns the meaning of honor, courage and integrity.
Despite some sexual content and a fair amount of light and not-so-light obscenities, the story of BLACK KNIGHT concentrates on its fish-out-of-water theme. Jamal at first thinks he’s arrived at an elaborate medieval amusement park and hotel, then the movie’s humor revolves around his attempts to avoid getting beheaded by the evil king. Eventually, in the movie’s third act, the comedy focuses on Jamal’s ability to use modern-day sports moves from football, wrestling and boxing and modern-day political platitudes to help the people make a stand against tyranny. In the end, Jamal’s education in the “old-fashioned” value of honor helps him win liberty for his friends.
Martin Lawrence once again does a very good job as the comical hero. It was fun to watch him play both the funnyman and the courageous, feisty hero. Tom Wilkinson also does a fine job as Sir Knolte, who, with Jamal’s encouragement, regains his own honor as a former knight. The rest of the cast is also good, including Marsha Thomason as the intelligent, passionate Victoria and Vincent Regan as the villain Sir Percival. Director Gil Junger shows a very deft hand at filming both the comedy and the action scenes.
Of course, the true meaning of honor does not include the use of vulgarity or an attitude of sexual laxity. Because of this, BLACK KNIGHT deserves a caution for older children and teenagers, especially younger teens.
Martin Lawrence does a good job as the comical hero. It was fun to watch him play both the funnyman and the courageous, feisty hero. Tom Wilkinson also does a fine job as Sir Knolte, who, with Jamal’s encouragement, regains his own honor as a former knight. The rest of the cast is also good. Director Gil Junger shows a very deft hand at filming both the comedy and the action scenes. In all, BLACK KNIGHT is a funny comedy that contains some touching, heroic moments, but is spoiled by foul language and sexual content.