Why’s It Special?
While that was an excellent summarization, I didn’t quite reveal what I love so much about the movie—besides well, the Knights.
The Soundtrack: The soundtrack is bizarre but in an entirely positive sense. It’s entirely 70’s Rock and Roll but it’s not just tacked on. Within the first fifteen minutes we get to not only listen to ACDC’sWe Will Rock You, but we get to SEE it. The trumpet bearers are actually performing the song in the scene, and the crowd sings along. Nearly all the pieces put into the movie stretch beyond just a gimmick, they flow with the narrative and establish a lighthearted tone.
The Dialogue: Upon re-watching I came to appreciate the wit of the script. While it’s clearly no Aron Sorkin level of writing, there are surprisingly plenty of moments that had me genuinely laughing. The chemistry between the core group is incredible, and each member is able to bounce off one another so naturally. Everyone on screen is obviously having fun, and that fun is contagious
The action: The jousting itself is exciting, if not a little cheesy. There are a ton of jousting sequences, but most consist of the camera cutting between two riders bearing down on each other until one clearly lowers his lance so the other can win. However, the context around the action gives it excitement. The jousts are often more than that. They are used to illustrate feelings between characters, show time passage, provide levity, introduce new world elements, and allow for sick ass montages to Taking care of Business. They aren’t spectacular, but they are special.
The World: Europe in the middle ages has been done so many times now to celebrate A knight’s Tale for its setting alone would be ridiculous. What sets A knight’s Tale apart is the dynamic way in which the world around is portrayed. Keeping with the lighthearted tone, Tournament Joust is treated like modern day sports. The crowds have favorite players, food and beverages being served, at one point the crowd fights for a helmet like a foul ball. Further still characters wardrobes and hairstyles are a fusion of late 20th century and 12th century fashion and it works. The world of A Knight’s Tale is a parody of ours in a way and I find it a unique way to portray Medieval Europe.