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Black Knight

Black Knight

Director:Gil Junger
Cast:Martin Lawrence, Tom Wilkinson
Genre:Film, Comedy

By Adele Marley | Posted

The lame laughs inspired by the new Martin Lawrence vehicle Black Knight--wherein Los Angeles theme-park employee Jamal Walker (Lawrence) is transported to England in the year 1328--are predictably drawn from the juxtaposition of cultural norms in medieval times and the modern world. (Can I make that sound any more clinical?) Most of the gags are obvious (Jamal confronts the realities of medieval hygiene; Jamal schools court musicians in the ways of Sly and the Family Stone), but some actually connect, as when Jamal's street-wise banter rubs off on his peasant pals--"That's tight!" declares one early adopter. The peasants plan a coup to overthrow a despised despot and restore power to their beloved queen. Jamal, whose strange behavior is attributed to the assumption that he's from France, joins them to impress a lady-in-waiting (Marsha Tomason) sympathetic to the peasants' cause. Supposedly this inspires some kind of transformation in Jamal, although character development in Black Knight is so negligible that you're not privy to exactly how he's changed. The king, however, throws a bone when describing Lawrence's jestering skills: "He's no longer funny, but he refuses to give up on the joke." Methinks the king is onto something.

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