Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Knights of Badassdom (2014)

Knights of Badassdom.jpg
A Real Knightmare

Director: Joe Lynch
Running Time: 86 mins
Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn, Summer Glau, Peter Dinklage

Having been shot back in 2010, Knights of Badassdom was left to languish in post production for years. It was finally released, after one of its stars became widely popular due to their role in a popular HBO fantasy series.

Joe (Ryan Kwanten) falls into a funk after his long-term girlfriend dumps him to focus on her career. His two best friends, Eric (Steve Zahn) and Hung (Peter Dinklage), take him to a Live Action Role Playing event to help him get over the break up, but then have to deal with a Succubus unwittingly summoned from Hell.

Director Joe Lynch wisely takes steps to make sure viewers who are unfamiliar with LARPing aren't left lost during the proceedings, adding a breakdown of the points system and subtitles which translate the medieval language at one point. The costume design is worth mentioning, as an impressive level of detail can be put into the costumes by their LARPing wearers, and that is well reflected here.

Steve Zahn gives a spirited and likeable performance, easily managing to overshadow the rest of the cast. Ryan Kwanten makes for an average lead, failing to share chemistry in an underdeveloped romance with Summer Glau. The cult actress unfortunately puts a bland performance into a role which can be summed up as 'generic love interest with a sword'.

Hung teaches his friend some combat moves

The battle scenes between the combatants are well directed, capturing a sense of fun that remains missing from the rest of the film. The camera also seems to get a bit perverse, ogling Glau and focusing on two women making out for much longer than necessary.

The script focuses on the default setting of 'predictable and generic', while additional faces feel less like actual characters, focusing more on their individual traits rather than actually getting to know any of them. There's also a gang of redneck paintballers who serve as antagonists, but feel like an unnecessary addition when there's a murderous succubus out there.

Knights of Badassdom could have been a fun send-up of LARP-culture like Role Models, but it takes the promise held by the cast of cult favourites and the premise, only to be wasted on dull moments and a generic script.

1 comment:

  1. Sad to hear that. Was on my list of things to get to eventually. Suppose it will sit there much longer.

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