movie film review | chris tookey

Justin and the Knights of Valour

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  Justin and the Knights of Valour Review
Tookey's Rating
1 /10
Average Rating
3.00 /10
Freddie Highmore, Saiorse Ronan, Alfred Molina
Full Cast >

Directed by: Manuel Sicilia
Written by: Matthew Jacobs

Released: 2013
Origin: Spain
Colour: C
Length: 96

A myth-take.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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From the poster and the quality of its voice-over stars, I was hoping this would be good family entertainment. It isnít.

The script gets off to a poor start by positing a mediaeval kingdom where knights have been banished in favour of the rule of law. According to the film, the rule of law is a bad thing: a view which parents may consider strange to be teaching impressionable young children.

Our young, red-haired hero Justin (voiced by Freddie Highmore) especially dislikes the rule of law, since he doesnít wish to be a lawyer like his father (Alfred Molina) and would much rather be a knight in order to impress the local, vain, silly princess (Tamsin Egerton).

Matthew Jacobsí awful screenplay fails to notice that his hero is a twerp. The film that follows is low on adventure and weirdly lacking in structure, tension and surprise.

The attempts at humour are crass and unfunny. David Walliams is excruciatingly lame as a schizophrenic magician, Rupert Everett an embarrassment as a flamboyantly gay knight. Even Antonio Banderas is off-form as a macho Spanish knight who isnít a patch on his Puss in Boots.

The storyline limps turgidly onwards as Justin learns to become a knight under the tutelage of three aged knights (Charles Dance, Barry Humphries and James Cosmo) and overcomes the underwritten villain of the piece - Mark Strong, never worse.

Itís all terribly weak and unthrilling. Heaven knows how this screenplay ever got made. The Spanish animators are uninspired, and havenít a clue how to make the most of 3D. This is easily the dreariest animated film of the year. Even The Smurfs 2 had more ideas and vitality.

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