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(Review originally written at 4 January 2007)

This is a comedy with zero plot, dull characters and simple thought out comical moments. The movie merely serves as a vehicle for Martin Lawrence to do his same old routine of lots of screaming, jumping and acting like a tough talking, cool looking, naive person.

Guess that in its core the movie still had some good comedy potential. I mean the story of a modern African-American getting stuck in the early 14th century, during the medieval times scream for some good and simple jokes about cultural differences between the different time periods. There are some good jokes made in the movie but everything feels so staged and forced that it at the same time gets highly unfunny.

Guess the main character also doesn't help an awful lot. He is about as dumb and thick as they can get. I mean it takes him literally 30 minutes to understand that he's in a 'real' medieval world and not at a theme park. But also after he learned this he doesn't pay much attention to his clearly too 'modern' language and clothing. It makes the main character stupid but not in an amusing sort of way, like in many other comedies often is the case.

The movie itself actually pays very little attention to the plot line. There isn't really much happening and only toward the ending of the movie, the movie is starting to pay attention to its story. Too little too late I'm afraid.

It's not like the story makes a lot of sense either. During that time not many black people were around and those that were, were definitely not treated as kindly as portrayed in this movie. Almost every character obviously sees a black person for the first time but nobody seems to be really bothered and everyone, good or evil, accepts his presence immediately. The 'evil' king (quite frankly I didn't see in this movie exactly how he was evil) even makes him a Lord at one point. But portraying things otherwise would of course had been considered to be racist and not political correct. But some more jokes about this still sensitive subject wouldn't had harmed the movie. For some reason I have the feeling that Martin Lawrence himself objected to a this kind of an approach.

The movie is fair enough looking with its sets and costumes and obviously cost more than the average genre movie. A waste of a good budget you may say. Next time they should spend it on a better director, writers and an actor who isn't full of himself and plays basically the same character in every movie that he appears in.

Yes, of course the movie still has some good moments to make this movie still somewhat watchable but it overall is way too disjointed, simple and not thought out well enough to consider this even a good enough genre movie.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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