The King's Guard (2000)
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How in the world did Ron Perlman(from "Beauty and the Beast fame") and Eric Roberts get signed to this?? I suspect Mr. Roberts had some connection to the production beyond simply appearing in the film. The credits were revealing in that Roberts had his own driver, production assistant, costumer, and make-up artist, while the rest of the cast had to share a seperate team.
In fact, the blooper reel at the end was, in my opinion, also quite revealing in that almost all of the clips were of Roberts blowing lines. Almost none of the other cast were shown on the blooper real and I was left wondering whether Roberts was the only one unable to keep his lines straight or instead used his clout so that the rest of the cast just wasn't included. I wanted to see the three main female leads gaff it up a little but no luck.
The script took few chances, surrounding a paper-thin plot with all the standard fairy-fantasy tale cliches. One interesting twists was that one of the King's Guard was played with some flair by a black actor (name unknown) with light homosexual overtones. He kept complaining about his pink hat with a big pink plume and about his clothes getting dirty. There wasn't really any sexual innuendo involved but quite a bit of lifestyle innuendo. It was something I hadn't seen before in this type of movie and the actor did a fair job with the script he was given. An interesting diversion...
The sword-play and stunt work was pretty weak. I have a little experience with sword-play and I suspect what was shown in the movie was more a result of a limited practice schedule. I have seen much better sword handling in a variety of situations and I think the actors just needed more practice before shooting. Especially since with a movie, the editor can do a lot to make it seem more dramatic by good cutting from shot to shot.
And there were a lot of shots. The filmakers did take time to get a lot of angles in the film. Clearly there was effort to do a lot of conceptual layout work before committing anything to film. It's just that what they ended up with wasn't very special. The cinematography was one of the best aspects (relatively speaking) to the film. A lot of it was shot using natural sunlight and all the actors looked good in their costumes - another bright spot in the work. It was clear that this film was shot entirely in one physical location with a cheesy-looking "ruins" serving as the focal point of action. The credits gave a big kudos to such-in-such a ranch...
"The King's Guard" would make for nice family-friendly viewing for all ages but won't hold adults attention for any length of time. While there are plenty of deaths during the film there is no blood or gore of any kind so younger kids are safe with this one. Unless you are a fan of one of the cast members go rent Princess Bride.
Although I must say the costumes were delightful.
Oh, and the out-takes were a revelation.
Just fast-forward and watch the bloopers. Don't bother with the rest...
The acting is pretty decent, though the main actors should have been the villains as they were the only ones who really stand out. The story feels a bit stretched towards the middle of the movie as no swordsman facing possible doom has time for taking tea, argue about hats or perform stand up comedy. Still, the filming and sound effects are pretty good. Only the opening scene looks a little fake. OK, it looks really fake but its OK as it only takes up a couple of frames. Some locations are really good but they end up in a single field with a ruin in the middle. And that is where most of the story happens.
This would be a fun movie for anyone not feeling to watch anything too serious or feeling too critical.
Set in the days of chivalry at sword point, "The King's Guard" is the tale of the "last stand" of a princess (Ashley Jones) being taken to a marriage that will save her father's throne and the young noble Guard (Trevor St. John) who secretly loves her, against the traitorous ex-Guard (Eric Roberts) who wants her and the greedy Lord (Ron 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.
This is a lighthearted tale that came about from a labor of love. Simply put, this is an amusing, entertaining film that doesn't take it self too seriously, and will have you and your family enjoying every moment.
I don't think any of the actors were "into this" - not really. The actors are half-hearted with their acting. Now the costumes and sets are gorgeous but the story and halfway acting does not do it for me.
I skimmed through the film and it did not pick up. I'll have to try another film... I'm sorry but I can't do this one.
Anyways, my main beef with the movie was the fact that it seemed like the director was more familiar with stage acting than film, and for the most part it seemed like the same went for the cast. The battle scenes in particular were horribly done.
I don't tend to bash movies for being low budget but this one really did nothing with nothing. No horses, one terrible set, childish special effects. Sam Raimi or Peter Jackson might have been able to pull a rabbit out of that hat but not the guys responsible for this one.
Fleeing from an attack on the Castle, Princess Gwendolyn takes refuge in a ruin with the surviving members of her entourage, including seven of her father's elite King's Guard and their leader, Captain John Reynolds. She's managed to escape with her dowry, a treasure chest filled with gold. Finding themselves surrounded by fifty bandits, lead by the evil Lord Morton the royal party discover that the notorious traitor Augustus Talbert is fighting with the bandits. Talbert had been the former commander of The King's Guard, a man who had mysteriously betrayed the King.
He chases them through shire, wood, and meadow as the fight of good and evil wages on eternally. Who will win?
It's funny at times but this is a weak movie.
It revolves around an incident that takes place as a princess travels to be married in a neighboring country. She is without family, and a new guard and a small entourage accompany her for the journey.
They fall victim to ambush and take refuge in an abandoned house.
A battle of wits and swords follows - something like "The A-Team" with swords.
The entire movie takes place at this one location - obviously saving on the old budget 'eh?
Clever at times but basically just stupid. Roberts, a great actor, deserves better.