Thursday, March 27, 2014

Knights of Badassdom

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Lightning bolt!

Knights of Badassdom – 5 out of 5

First thing I heard about this movie was the title and I said, “Okay, Knights of Badassdom, you’ve officially said enough. I want to watch you.” Then I heard that Steve Zahn and Peter Dinklage were in it and I said, “You didn’t need to sell me on anything else, film. I already declared I will watch you.” Then I saw it was a dark comedy about LARPing and I found myself yelling, “YES! YES! YES! Of course I am going to watch you, film! You didn’t need to continue on the sell but you did and you have me foaming at the mouth!” At this point, I was told by my coworkers that I was being loud and I should stop looking up movie news and get to work.

Seriously, this shit is fun.  Don't knock it until you've tried it.

Sadly not credited, Zahn's awesome WHOOSH in
his hair.
Joe (Ryan Kwanten) is sad. His lady has left him and now he finds himself trying to be cheered up by his buddies Hung (Peter Dinklage) and Eric (Steve Zahn). After getting blackout drunk, Joe wakes up to find himself at a large LARP (Live Action Role-Playing) event. Reluctant to get involved with his geeky past, Hung and Eric eventually convince him to join in the fun and, while performing a mock-mystic ritual on Joe, they accidentally summon a succubus from the netherworld and the game of foam swords, experience points, and “lightning bolt, lightning bolt, lightning bolt” has become a real-life battle for survival against a supernatural evil.

She's suppose to be evil?!?  She looks radiant!

"Um...cometh at me, bro-th?"
Obviously this isn’t a film that mainstream critics who write terrible puns into their reviews for convenient (and awful) one note, soundbyte-like reviews are really going to enjoy (in fact, many of them probably wrote their review before watching it and said, “Knights of Badassdom? More like, Knights of Boredom” or some stupid shit like that) but, that aside, I really found this movie to be hysterical. I’m already a fan of dark comedies and movies that are capable of blending horror film elements with comedy ingredients and I’m already a huge geek who has a history with Dungeons & Dragons and have been to LARPing events, so, even at its worse, I already knew I was going to enjoy this movie.

Fuck, someone left Danny Pudi hanging.

Dark comedies are hard to balance because if you get too silly, the darkness gets too light and if you get too dark, the gags feel awkwardly placed into the story. However, I think the filmmakers of this one really put together a film that was capable of being a good gorefest and a great hilarious ride; the jokes are solid, fun and silly (but not too silly). It also helped matters that the characters are memorable and the actors playing them are talented.

The beast is still radiant!

I really enjoy Peter Dinklage and Steve Zahn as actors. Dinklage is an incredibly talented man and proves it in everything he is in—whether it be in a film like The Station Agent, playing opposite Will Ferrell for a small role in Elf or completely dominating as Tyrion Lannister in the completely epic Game of Thrones. Things are no different in this film and he’s very, very funny as Hung; the drug obsessed LARPer. While his part, sadly, didn’t prove to be as large as I hoped it would have been, his scenes were, without a doubt, hilarious and memorable.

"So...I just got Game of Thrones season 3 on Blu-Ray.  Anyone wanna binge watch?"

Zahn always entertains me and he comes off like the kind of guy that would be fun to hang out with and wouldn’t mind helping you move if you asked him. His likeable factor is here (like in any product he’s in) and he plays well off of every character in the film, especially True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten—who was also fantastic. Honestly, there wasn’t a single dip in the cast department as everyone involved—like Summer Glau, Danny Pudi and the infamous McPoyle; Jimmi Simpson—were fantastic and really did their role great…even if some of their roles were disappointingly short.

Hey look, it's Summer Glau...and right behind her is a throng of people still whining
about Firefly's cancellation.

I try to see Simpson as anyone BUT McPoyle but I just
can't do it.
Knights of Badassdom clearly won’t ever have a broad appeal. Dark comedies are already a hard sell for audiences and when you add the heavy geek influence to it, you pretty much made sure that only those who regularly attend geek conventions will see and appreciate the film. I honestly think that geeks like me will have fun watching this one because, while the movie takes a few easy shots at LARPers and geeks in general, the movie is still very respectful to this element of our culture. A majority of the time, LARPing is shown as a fun activity with a lot of colorful and creative people getting involved with it and it delivers the ultimate fantasy to those who engage in any sort of role-playing game—the opportunity to really strike down a mystic beast!

"Seriously guys...we actually get to kill a demon.  Forget our dead friends and the
mortal danger we are in because this is AWESOME!"

Some might feel I’m being overgenerous with my perfect score for Knights of Badassdom but the fact that I had a lot of fun watching this, never stopped laughing the entire time and it had a fun, unique and interesting story with actors I really enjoy made the film a joy to sit through and something I will watch for years to come.

Uh oh, Peter Dinklage just leveled up to a new level of awesome.

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