mediocre but watchable

Martin Lawrence is this ordinary guy Jamal Walker who is somehow sent back in time to a typically Medieval setting. Despite his strange dress and speech, his ability to talk himself out of a situation (can we call that the Martin Lawrence trademark?) gets him in good with the King - only the King thinks he is a messenger named Skywalker from another kingdom. Jamal soon finds out that there is a plot against the king, manages to foil one assassination attempt by accident, bed the King's daughter, find out the King was really a bad guy (from the movie's perspective), and reluctantly joins the resistance once the real messenger shows up.

A few reviews ago, I labelled The Animal a "one joke pony", and the thought stayed with me as I watched this one. I'm thinking about the line between premise and story here. Both these films have very simple ideas - The Animal is Rob Schneider given animal traits, Black Knight is Martin Lawrence being sent back to Medieval times. Both scripts construct a plotline around their initial premise to keep the action moving, though we know all that happens hardly matters - it's about the joke.

So what makes these movies different? Both are not great examples of depth, but Black Knight is by far more watchable. I'm not a Martin Lawrence fan by any stretch of the imagination - he seems to play roughly the same character in each of his movies. To me the difference is that there is more of a connection between the characters in Black Knight - and they seem to actually be enjoying themselves - maybe that isn't the point of the movie - but it's more fun to watch.

I could go on about how silly the setup is, how irrelevant the story is, and the moral/intellectual pointlessness of it all - but you probably already knew that. The point that I seem to be getting to is that, for a bad movie, it's not all that horrible.

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