Review: Knights of Badassdom / Cert: TBC / Director: Joe Lynch / Screenplay: Kevin Dreyfuss, Matt Wall / Starring: Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn, Summer Glau, Ryan Kwanten / Release Date: February 11th (US), TBC (UK)
Two “kings” and their followers – consisting of groups with names like Gnomeland Security and Fair Leather Friends – have their yearly fantasy role-playing gathering in a Washington state forest in order to undertake quests and prepare for the all-out battle at the Fields of Evermore with foam and rubber weapons. Sulking Joe (Kwanten) – a proven battlefield warrior and legend in the Middle Ages LARPers (Live Action Role Playing) community – has recently been dumped by his girlfriend for not taking responsibility with his life, and decides he’s had enough fantasy play, but his friends Hung (Dinklage) and Eric (Zahn) include him anyway for the big weekend event.
Joe decides this might be the best thing for him after all to get his ex out of his system as he meets the sexy Gwen (Glau), but he is now reduced from his previous high standing to the rank of apprentice due to a rivalry that has seriously backfired on him. Meanwhile, things take a turn for the fantastical when a wizard accidentally unleashes a soul-devouring succubus in the form of Joe's ex-girlfriend.
Knights of Badassdom is a missed opportunity. It starts out great, but it doesn’t know what it wants to be, and it soon becomes an odd mix of wild comedy, serious drama and horror elements. It's like you're watching Monty Python’s Holy Grail, then you blink and it’s the Ivanhoe meets Evil Dead.
Dinklage is the most likeable of the characters, but his screen time is limited. Summer Glau is easy on the eye and delivers a solid performance. Zahn has a few funny moments, but he wears you down after awhile. As for Kwanten as our reluctant hero, he is disappointingly wide of the mark, as is director Joe Lynch. Frankly, Bert I. Gordon did it better with The Magic Sword in 1962.
Expected Rating: 7 out of 10