Sword of the Valiant Reviews
What I could gather was that there was this knight, played by Miles O'Keeffe, who got curse by another knight, this one mystical in nature and played by Sean Connery, and he had to walk the earth for a year in some sort of spiritual enlightenment quest. Or something, I don't know, the movie never explained just why this knight went on his quest other than that he was forced to by Sean Connery's character. And that's this movie. Something always happens, sure, but the viewer is rarely sure just what actually happens or why. And the why is what bothers me the most. I was so confused while watching this movie as nothing was ever explained, established or settled. The knight just travels from one place to another and something happens. And by the movie's finale I didn't even care anymore. I just wanted it to end.
To the movie's credit I must say that I actually enjoyed Sean Connery's character. His Green Knight had very little motives behind his actions, other than 'why the hell not', but Connery applied his usual charisma to his performance and to a degree it works. The opening scene where he rides to the castle is actually very unsettling and bizarre, but in a good way. But then we rarely see him again, which is a shame because he's one of the few things that work in this film. And yeah, I guess that the settings and costumes are just fine and nice to look at, but they hardly make up for the non-existent story.
So yeah, don't see this one. It's not worth it, not even in a so-bad-it's-good kind of way.
I tracked this down to watch it as an adult. It's about an old tale of a a green knight who makes a bet that no one can cut off his head with head with one blow. They do and he puts his head back on.
This movie really was not as good as I remembered. It was pretty damn cheesy. Tons of over acting. They jumped from one situation to the next. At one point after 4 hours of knowing a woman he declares his love for her and tells her how their love can move mountains. It's just bad... Funny too watch, though.
It begins by having someone step forward and chop off the Green Knights head. Who will step forward to do such a random act of violence? Sir Gawain will that's who! He accepts the challenge and does chop off the Knights head. It doesn't kill him. He actually asks his body to come and pick up his own head and plants it back on like normal. Now it's Sir Gawain's turn to be beheaded, but The Green Knight decides not too since Gawain doesn't have a beard and isn't a real man. So, he gives Gawain a year to solve a riddle and if he doesn't solve it in that time then the Knight will have to behead him. The riddle goes like this:
Where life is emptiness, gladness. Where life is darkness, fire. Where life is golden, sorrow. Where life is lost, wisdom.
And with that, The Green Knight rides off. Gawain is stuck having to find the answer to the riddle for much of the film. He falls in love with a beautiful woman named Linet who later gets kidnapped by an evil prince and at that point the film loses all it's purpose. It begins to sink into a dull and unimaginative area where Gawain tries saving her from the evil prince and then, of course, gathers up some men for a proper battle which doesn't make any sense.
I enjoyed the first half of the film because it was creative and I would've given this film 3 stars just by how campy the movie is, but once Linet gets kidnapped it lost me. Even the ending where Gawain doesn't finish solving the riddle and has to fight The Green Knight is so weak and bad. I did like how The Green Knight, once defeated, returns to the Earth so to speak, but after that the film just ends and it leaves you asking yourself 'What was the point?'
Overall, I think, just like the king at the beginning of the film who is bored with his Knights, the people who made this film were just as bored and thought 'Hey, lets make a movie about a Green Knight'.
From there it gets dumb. He neatly slices off Connery's green leafy crowned head onto the floor. The bodiless Connery simply calls for his arms and legs to come and get him and put his head back on. OF COURSE! Why didn't I think of that? He then acts like he's going to chop off Gawain's head, as he should but he deliberately misses. He says Gawain is just a kid and so he gives him 1 year to grow up a bit and answer his riddle. Then he vanishes in a blaze of green smoke leaving Gawain to ponder his new quest.
So, just like you or I Gawain bolts out the door looking for answers to the cryptic riddle that can save his life. Although unlike us he is riding in style, wearing the king's ceremonial armor on his very own steed. Accompanied by his own squire he now has all of the tools necessary to be a mounted douche-bag. This becomes evident when he says "What's for dinner?" and his squire says "I don't know, we didn't bring any food." Wait a minute! You're on a 1 year quest but you didn't think to bring any food? You sir, are a retard.
Unfortunately, I didn't turn the movie off right there. Instead I trudged on, like a disinterested kid in a clothing store. I found myself yelling frequently at the screen. Telling Gawain that he was stupid for eating magical food and for letting a murderous city guard live. I really started yelling when he fell in love with a girl that he knew for 20 minutes. DUDE SERIOUSLY, YOU JUST MET HER! Then he somehow gets separated from her and acts like his life is meaningless without her. Remember the part where you were a young brave knight who wasn't afraid of anything? What the hell happened? It's then that he finds out that he's playing an elaborate game setup by Sean Connery. So he decides to play on and go back to get his woman.
For some reason when he goes back to the magical city she lives in it's super easy to get her out now. The first thing he does though is leave her all alone to go collect firewood so guess what happens. She gets kidnapped! What a tard. Then we finally meet most of the cast. We see Peter Cushing, Ron Lacey, and even John Rhys Davies! It's too bad not one of them can do anything but watch this suckfest go down in flames. I'm not kidding when I say that I've never seen a movie with an all-star cast that sucks as much as this movie does. A lot of it has to do with the silly effects and lackluster music that completely ruin any world immersion that is achieved by the actors. The other part is just that the story is complete bullshit. What is Connery's motivation? Who the fuck knows? Why is a squire suddenly good at everything? How does six months pass on the way to one city? I have no clue how to answer any of these questions. Then there are more serious questions. Namely ...
1. Where did Connery get his powers and what is their source?
2. What are the extent of Connery's powers?
3. How can John Rhys Davies be Ron Lacey's dad when in real life Davies is 9 years younger than Lacey?
4. What is Peter Cushing's role exactly?
5. If Lionesse is a magical city that no outsider has ever found why is there duty bound guard protecting it? Gawain would never have found it if the guard hadn't lead him back to it. That makes NO DAMN SENSE!
6. Where did Linet get the magical cloaking ring and what is it's significance?
7. What is Connery's relationship with the witch?
8. Why is Gawain's kingdom full of apathetic wimps?
9. How did Linet escape certain doom in a small room full of fire?
10. How did Linet make a magical item that would prevent Gawain from being harmed?
11. How did Gawain's squire know when and where to meet him when he went out to challenge Connery?
12. Why did Connery's armor have a gaping hole in the chest?
13. Why does stabbing Connery kill him when cutting off his head only makes him laugh?
14. What was the purpose of Connery's riddle or his game?
15. Why do unicorn's disappear when you hunt them?
16. How did the sage know EVERYTHING?
17. How can anyone trapped between a drawbridge and a portcullis escape?
18. Why does Gawain kill the citizens of Lionesse with no regard for life?
19. How did Gawain recruit the help of a blue collar labor force?
20. What happened between the two warring nations?
21. What did Gawain do after Linet left him forever?
22. Why did no one ever teach Ron Lacey how to fight?
23. How was the guard of Lionesse raised from the dead?
24. Why was everyone in Lionesse frozen in time when Gawain returned?
25. What was Linet's relationship with Sir Bertilak?
26. Why does a rainbow appear when the black knight is summoned?
27. Why is the witch even in the movie if she doesn't do anything?
28. How does Ron Lacey have the authority to lead a war party if he can't even stand up to his father's decisions?
29. Why is there a convenient trap door in the dungeon?
30. How did the friar end up in the dungeon anyway and how does he know how to escape?
These are just the questions I came up with off the top of my head. Any movie that leaves that many major plot points unanswered is bullshit. I don't care what the positives are. The experience is ruined if I have to constantly stop and ask questions about what is happening and why. I don't need all the answers. But I would like to have things like character relationships revealed.
A completely unrelated note is that I believe Gawain was the inspiration for Prince Valiant in the movie Spaceballs.
Should you watch this movie? Hell no! It's exceedingly stupid. Just so you never have to here is how it ends. Gawain cheats death and then slices Connery across the chest. Connery turns into dust and then Linet turns into a bird and flies away. The fucking end.
The movie is plagued with pointless characters who show up and then disappear, Sean Connery must have cringed every time he had to utter a flowery poetic line that sounded nice but had no meaning, Miles O'Keeffe gave his usual stiff performance with all the range from A to B.
This is far from the worst movie I have ever seen but it is bad. If you insist on wasting your time watching it don't rent it, wait for it to come on TV.