by Lillian Csernica on April 18, 2015
I have to tell you, I’m at a loss as to how I can best summarize the plot of this mess. I’ve read reviews and behind-the-scenes articles at various sites. Wow. For a movie that counts among the cast at least four A list actors, this insult to the original comic strip sank faster than a knight in shining armor who’d been thrown off a pier.
Stephen Moyer as Prince Valiant. Is it just me, or does he look all of 16 here? I checked the dates. Prince Valiant’s latest incarnation was 28 at the time. He spends a good chunk of the movie wearing that knitted fabric “chain mail” that I loathe with every fiber of my historically accurate soul.
While serving as a squire at Camelot, among the court of King Arthur, Valiant sees Princess Ilene at a tournament. Pretending to be Sir Gawain, Valiant manages to get himself assigned to escort the Princess home, where she’s to be married to Prince Arn.
Katherine Heigl as Princess Ilene, looking all of 12 years old. (She was 19.)
Meanwhile, Morgan le Fey convinces the ruler of the Viking kingdom of Thule, a tyrant named Sligon, to steal Excalibur and topple King Arthur. Sligon sends his psychopath brother Thagnar to steal Excalibur. Despite facing King Arthur and his well-trained (and sane) Knights of the Round Table, Thagnar succeeds and Excalibur falls into the hands of the enemy.
Joanna Lumley as Morgan Le Fey. Notice how she’s wearing real chain mail?
By this time Valiant and Princess Ilene have faced various kidnapping attempts and a mysterious highwayman/hermit. Circumstances pretty much demand a duel between Prince Arn and Valiant. The hermit turns out to be Boltar of Thule, who reveals Valiant’s true identity as Prince of Thule and heir to the throne Sligon has stolen.
Ron Perlman, every fantasy fan’s favorite character actor, plays Boltar.
Prince Valiant faces this most puissant foe Sligon (and his psycho brother).
Valiant wins his throne, his lady love Princess Ilene, and walks away with everything but Excalibur itself.
In his book, Size Matters Not, Warwick Davis says Prince Valiant was “a disaster from start to finish” which was “premiered, panned and bombed.” He blames this on the director, who he says “seemed intent on partying all night long and giving roles to his friends.”
This man is an expert on fantasy, good, bad, and mediocre. I’ll take his word for it, wouldn’t you?