The King's Guard (2000)
Treachery, villainy, swordplay, noble secret love and a princess in peril: what more could the average ten year old would-be Musketeer ask for?
Director: Jonathan Tydor.
Starring: David Beecroft (Drummond), Brian Cousins (Otto), Gerald Patrick Cox (Sir Gerald), Ashley Jones (Princess Gwendolyn), Lesley Anne Down (Queen Beatrice), Ron Perlman (Lord Morton), Eric Roberts (Talbot), Trevor St. John (Capt. John Reynolds).
Set in the days of chivalry at sword point, “The King’s Guard” is the tale of the “last stand” of a princess (Jones) being taken to a marriage that will save her father’s throne and the young noble Guard (St. John) who secretly loves her, against the traitorous ex-Guard (Roberts) who wants her and the greedy Lord (Perlman) who wants her dowry.
This movie has nice costumes and I think that’s where most of the money went. Ninety-nine percent of it takes place in one setting. There are no horses although the DVD cover shows them. The acting runs the spectrum from almost-painful-to-watch (Jones) to oh-good-someone-knows-what-they’re-doing (Perlman, Roberts). The sword play, although decently choreographed, is done too hesitantly by most of the actors to be truly exciting.
People who are into the Renaissance Faire, SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) and LARP (Live Action Role Playing) scenes may be able to glean some inspiration from the costumes and sword play.
Although there is much fighting there is no blood or gore so this would be an excellent family movie for anyone with young children going through a swashbuckling phase.
Worth a rent for gamers, worth a rent/buy used for youngsters.
On a side note, there are some funny bloopers after the end credits on the DVD (I don't know if they are on the VHS) (Eric Roberts must have been suffering from short term memory loss during the shoot but to give credit where credit is due he appears to have kept his sense of humor throughout).
First published in 2004 on The Perlman Pages.