Sunday, December 14, 2014

AIIW: Knights of Badassdom

Movie Stats:
Released 2013 (Israel)
American, in English
Director - Joe Lynch
Stars - Ryan Kwanten, Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn, Jimmi Simpson, Summer Glau

Plot Summary:
Friends Joe (Kwanten), Hung (Dinklage), Eric (Zahn), Ronnie (Simpson) and Gwen (Glau) accidentally summon a rampaging succubus while at a weekend Live Action Role Play event in the woods.

Blue language, extreme violence, heavily implied sexy times, and drug use.

Bad Stuff:
It’s a tad boring.

There are only two female characters, Gwen and Beth (Margarita Levieva), and neither of them is particularly well developed. Who is Gwen? The only thing you learn about her is that she’s there to chaperone her cousin Gunther (Brett Gipson), who takes the whole thing far too seriously. I wanted to know more about her.

I guess this is a spoiler because it mentions the fate of this character. Speaking of Gunther, I didn’t understand him at all. Gwen says that he’s “always” in character (I guess that’s why he needs a chaperone since he’s apparently mentally ill) but a follow-up card at the end of the film says that after fighting a real-life demon, Gunther now thinks he’s always in-game. Didn’t he already? It didn’t make sense.

Good Stuff:
I liked that it didn’t always do the expected thing, especially in terms of who lived and who died. It gave me a sense of anticipation.

There are some very funny moments.

A lot of times, a character like Ronnie will quickly descend into caricature territory: the villainous, power-hungry nerd (see: Ken Jeong’s character in “Role Models”). Ronnie had more nuance than that, which I really enjoyed. I suppose it helps that I’m a big fan of Jimmi Simpson.

The Verdict:
We all know that this isn’t the kind of movie you go into with high expectations. You don’t watch movies like this for depth or meaning. You watch them to enjoy yourself. In that sense, this movie is immensely entertaining. It feels like one of those films that a bunch of friends got together and made. They looked like they had a blast doing it. Whenever I see a movie like that, I tend to enjoy it more.

You’ll probably get more out of it if you’ve either played D&D and/or are a LARPer or know people who LARP. It was certainly funny to me for those reasons because of how close to the truth it strays. During the big battle scene, I said to my husband, “This is basically every LARPer’s wet dream.” He agreed. 

I give the movie 3 stars.


Patricia said...

It's got a good title.

I find it so strange that the female characters were not developed. Hmmm.

balyien said...

It was definitely very disappointing, but perhaps it's expecting too much of a silly little film about hitting things with foam swords.