1997 Certificate: pg

Synopsis

Enthusiastic medieval adventure in which a young squire (Stephen Moyer) masquerades as a knight and is sent by King Arthur (Edward Fox) to find the mighty sword, Excalibur. Legendary B-movie villain Udo Keir makes his mark as the deliciously named Sligon the Usurper, Joanna Lumley injects poison as femme fatale Morgan Le Fey and a pre-Grey's Anatomy Katherine Heigl adds a little 'hey-nonny-nonny' as the plucky princess.

Director

  • Anthony Hickox

Cast

  • Stephen Moyer

  • Katherine Heigl

  • Joanna Lumley

  • Edward Fox

Review

This Arthurian saga is another attempt to literally transfer a comic strip to the screen, but, with a combination of joky modern dialogue and full-blooded action that the scriptwriters haven't the lightness of touch to bring off.

So you'll be thrilled and embarrassed in turn as young Valiant (Stephen Moyer) sets out to escort Princess Ilene (Katherine Heigl) away from danger - and of course rides right into it.

Although ambitious in scope, the film falls short on pretty well every count, employing such striking supporting actors as Ron Perlman and Warwick Davis and not building them characters with which to make an impact.

Moyer's chubby earnestness is inappropriate here, while the equally chubby Heigl wields a sword with vigour, but has some unspeakable dialogue.

You'd like to cheer for some of these characters, in fact, but the script never gives you a chance. And the end is a real cheat that earns your jeers instead.