Runtime: 85 minutes
Director: Simon Wells
Starring: Ben Loyd-Holmes, Ross O’Hennessy, Zara Pythian
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Final Score: 3.5/10
After a deadly dragon relentlessly attacks his kingdom, a King sends four of his best knights on a quest to defeat the beast that has been terrorizing his subjects and besieging his castle. Along the way the knights will encounter beautiful, but malicious creatures all determined to halt them in their tracks.
As they journey across the kingdom on their seemingly impossible journey, the knights’ courage, comradeship and bravery will be stretched to the limits. Do they have what it takes to uncover the mysterious truth behind their quest and slay the dragon that is trying to destroy their kingdom.
Knights of the Damned is supposed to be a serious movie, but there isn’t much humor. There is banter, but it’s friendly rather than comedic. The story is solid, if cliché, and keeps the movie going forwards. The dialogue is often clunky, and information is repeated. Some of the situations are unintentionally humorous. Sometimes it’s hard to focus because the camera doesn’t sit still and is always moving. The music doesn’t go with the movie either; it sounds modern. They don’t even try to hide the modern guitar being played by a bard in the tavern. Details like this destroy any kind of tone the movie wanted to have.
Our group of heroes are not that original: The knight who follows orders, his drunk but strong best friend, and the young cocky womanizer. Their stories don’t go anywhere, and we get an insufficient number of scenes to get attached to them. The secondary characters are the same: Amazonian warriors who help the heroes, a creepy prince intent on taking over the kingdom, and the angry peasant who doesn’t like knights. Some of the scenes with the knights show their friendship and try to give a backstory, and the warriors who help them give a reason for being there, but these small snippets show how little we really know about them.
The action is the second-best part of the movie. It’s not great, or good, but it’s not completely terrible either. It has the tendency to go slow motion at random points. Not just in one fight, but in all of them. The camera also tends to zoom in too close to where you can’t see anything. These little problems keep the action from being as good as it could be, although even than it has the usual problems. But without the slow motion or close ups, the action would blend into the movie and not stand out as much.
In the age of CGI and animation, you’d think that dragons would be easy to put into movies. But it still doesn’t work with a moderate budget, apparently. The dragon in the movie just doesn’t look good. At all. The zombies, on the other hand, look fine. They’re a bit generic, but they don’t take away from the movie like the dragon. And they made the fire look great. Unfortunately, it comes from the dragon. A smaller effect that also stands out is the blood effects; another part that shouldn’t be a problem in movies but still is.
The highlight of the movie is the designs. From the knights’ sleek chain mail to the tribal warriors’ fur outfits, the designs for the costumes look great. Costumes for the peasants and zombies are just plain clothing and the nobles get their fancy gowns. Besides the poorly designed tavern, the set designs were also good. What little we see of the castle makes it seem like they used real castle for the set. And the little village that they visit looks like it had been there for a while. The landscapes they travel through are also beautiful.