Tuesday, June 03, 2003


A Video Review of "Black Knight"

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

Martin Lawrence is one part Three Stooges, one part Richard Pryor and one part Steppin Fetchit. He’s an idiot, a fool and a caricature of himself most of the time. He is the master of self-race-deprecating humor. One wonders how funny he might actually be if he wasn’t preying on his racial past and culture for his source material.

It is perhaps this tact that fuels the humor in Black Knight, yet another variation on the Mark Twain tale "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court." Martin is a streetwise brother who gets bopped on the head and journeys to the 14th century, the time of knights and ladies. The historically inaccurate 14th century one might add but then again who needs accuracy, especially in a Martin Lawrence comedy?

Once there he is mistaken for an expected messenger from a foreign nation and the whole "Stranger in a Strange Land" party begins as Martin’s hip-hop sensibilities clash with the ways of the day. One highlight not to be missed is when he teaches the court musicians to play Sly and the Family Stone's’ "Dance to the Music."

When the culture clash is getting old he begins to get involuntarily involved in the court politics and helps in a revolution and learns a lesson in standing up for what he believes in. Wow, from idiocy to decency, that Martin Lawrence is something else.

It’s a relatively harmless but entertaining film, not bad for ninety minutes if you’ve got nothing else to do. One wonders though what kind of parts await Mr. Lawrence in the future… butler? tap dancer? Perhaps a biopic of Steppin Fetchit?

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