A Knight's Tale review by Jackass Jon

Story Summary

A Knight's Tale is one of if not the best movie released in 2001. It's time period, the 14th century. It's location, someplace in Europe...

Sir Ecktor (Nick Brimble) and his three squire's William (Heath Ledger), Roland (Mark Addy) and Wat (Alan Tudyk) are about to finish the third and last round of a jousting tournament they are leading but at the last minute they realize there may be a small problem that could cost them the prize they so desperately need to claim. Sir Ecktor has died! Not knowing what else to do and with time running out, the remaining trio decide that William will ride in Sir Ecktor's place and hopefully win the tournament so they can eat their first meal in several days. But doing so could cost them their lives if they are found out. Impersonating a nobleman is punishable by certain death in the 14th century but hungry stomachs prevail and William rides the last joust to amazingly win the tournament and it's golden prize. After their stomachs are filled and their ego's are bolstered the three men decide they can make a fortune by continuing their charade. Or so they think.

With that idea in mind the three give birth to Sir Ulrich Von Lichtenstein of Gelderland. A famed knight who has traveled the lands fighting battle after battle under the guise of nobility. From the moment he enters the arena William's, umm, I mean Sir Lichtenstein's presence commands the attention from everyone in eyesight. He begins to win tournament after tournament and his name is soon spreading rapidly across the land. But of course such notability never comes without it's problems. Along the road William is defeated in heart by the ever beautiful Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon) and falls hopelessly in love with her. That doesn't seem like much of a problem though right? Well, as luck would have it Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell) also longs for the beauty of Jocelyn. Only Adhemar wishes to claim her beauty like so many of the other prizes he has won in the past and display her as such. This brings forth a heartfelt hatred between William and Adhemar (also known as the Ice Demon) which ends only after several battles are fought on uneven battlefields (you'll see what I mean when you watch the movie). William's reputation is also bolstered by the world famous Geoffry Chaucer (Paul Bettany) (a writer, poet and lover) when he becomes Sir Lichtenstein's herald of unheard of magnitude. Together the troupe turn the traditional sport of European Jousting upside down with everything from William's rough jousting technique to the modern armor Kate (Laura Fraser) has made for him...

DVD features

The DVD is full of great features. It has some pretty cool deleted scenes, over ten featurettes, a couple of commentaries, filmographies, trailers, a HBO making of special and a few other little tidbits.


This must be the wildest representation of the 14th century anyone has ever dreamed of doing. Imagine being thrown back in time hundreds of years but everything we are as a society today is preserved back then. Does that make sense? It doesn't matter... The movie is awesome and I highly recommend it to everyone. It comes with a PG-13 rating but I don't see why it's not a strait rated PG film (do they still make PG movies?). There's nothing horrible about any scene and the only effect it seems to have had on my kids is the adrenalin rush it produces. My son gets all wired when he watches it (the jousting) and my daughters get all mushy from the love scenes which are very "cute" and heart felt. All the actors are pretty much newcomers except for Heath Ledger and Rufus Sewell but they all do exceptional jobs with their roles. So good in fact each character is fully developed in their own ways (and even more so if you watch the DVD extra's), you really love them or hate them appropriately. Brian Helgeland did an excellent job writing and directing A Knight's Tale. It's a great story and has all the key features needed, action, drama, romance and comedy. The special effects are also fantastic. I say that because they used just enough "movie magic" to get the job done. I swear, every scene you watch that ends with a lance coming in contact with a knight, you can almost feel. You cringe as the horses race towards each other and you hold your breath as the camera goes into slow motion at the time of impact. Most joust scenes have several angle shots that almost give you bruises. The movie is also lined with great music that isn't exactly what you would expect from the 14th century but it picks you up and carries you along for the entire movie. I don't think there was any special underlying theme to the film other than it was just fun to watch. Hold on, I don't think fun is a good way to say it. Exciting is probably a better way to put it. Yep, It was exciting, clean and enjoyable for the whole family.

Final Thoughts

I never saw this movie at the theatre but I would imagine it was fantastic on the big screen with the incredible soundtrack thundering in all around you while your heart rate continually increased from scene to scene. But the DVD holds some extra footage that makes the movie a special treat to see at home too. The commentaries and featurettes give some details to the movie that take it beyond completion. They even managed to squeeze some real history in there if you pay close attention...

8 out of 10 Jackasses
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