Prince Valiant (1997)
Villainy, jousting, swordplay, a princess in peril, an unknowing prince on a quest, and all in the shadow of Excalibur: what more could the average ten year old would-be Knight ask for?
Director: Anthony Hickox.
Starring: Warwick Davis (Pechet), Edward Fox (King Arthur), Katherine Heigl (Princess Ilene), Anthony Hickox (Prince Gawain), Udo Kier (Sligon), Thomas Kretschmann (Thagnar), Joanne Lumley (Morgan Le Fey), Stephen Moyer (Valiant), Ron Perlman (Boltar).
Set in the days of Round Table chivalry, this is the comic book tale of the orphan and page Valiant (Moyer) who, due to a case of mistaken identity, is escorting a princess (Heigl) to her fiancée when Excalibur is stolen from King Arthur (Fox) by his evil stepsister Morgan Le Fey (Lumley) and two warring brothers (Kier, Kretchsmann) from an enemy Kingdom. Valiant and the princess become part of the struggle of “he who holds the sword rules the world” which leads them both to love and Valiant to his princely destiny.
This is an okay rainy afternoon movie that is definitely geared toward a young audience. The acting is decent enough, the jousting is done well, and the swordplay isn’t bad. Occasionally a scene will fade into a cartoon comic book sequence with voice over. Stunt work is kind of lame and there is this dumb armored alligator effect. Over all, kids will get a kick out of it (and adults will groan-laugh).
Worth a rent/buy used for the kids.
On a side note, the two warring brothers (Kier, Kretschmann) both sounded a lot like Rasputin (Karel Roden) from Hellboy. Kier was the vampire leader Dragonetti in Blade and Kretschmann the vampire overlord Damaskinos in Blade II in which Roden played the lawyer/familiar Carter Kounen…that almost turned into “Six Degrees to Ron Perlman” didn’t it.
First published in 2004 on The Perlman Pages.