Martin Lawrence travels to a place that smells like no other.
For a movie that aims low, it's not that bad!
The photogenic Martin Lawrence stars as a self-centered employee of a failing, trashed-up, medieval-style theme park. While cleaning out the moat, Lawrence finds a medallion and leans over to pick it out. However, something occurs that Lawrence did not expect: he gets sucked into the moat and is transported to fourteenth century England.
At first, Lawrence thinks that he has somehow managed to make it to "Castle World," a brand new theme park that threatens to put his employer out of business. He stumbles around this world, speaking a form of English that even most modern people don't fully comprehend and he claims that "everyone is taking their jobs too seriously." Lawrence said something that made the king believe that Lawrence is a Moor and he is the Duke's messenger from Normandy. The medallion that Lawrence wears happens to be the medallion of the resistance whose goal is to kill the king and restore the deposed queen to her rightful throne. It looks like Lawrence will remain pretty busy during his stay!
The most enjoyable scene in the film occurred when the king asked Lawrence to dance because Moors are supposedly great dancers. Lawrence somehow gets the royal band to play "Dance to the Music" by Sly and the Family Stone inspiring some really groovy dancing from medieval dudes.
While the plot is uneven and sometimes utterly terrible, Martin Lawrence makes it work. His nutty performance, reminiscent of Jerry Lewis, goes beyond the material he has to work with. I recommend this film to the younger people and to those who love slapstick.
However, this movie does aim low. While the plot certainly has enough things to keep the audience occupied, there is enough inconsistency and implausibility in it to make older viewers groan. Most of the ending was poorly done probably because it had to conclude two subplots and it also took it upon itself to introduce some new ones. The jokes themselves are not that funny, however, the way Lawrence tells them is funny.
I have to give Martin Lawrence credit where it is due! Great job with the slapstick, homie.
FINAL VERDICT: C
It is enjoyable at least, but it doesn't rise beyond the low level that it was shooting for. Martin Lawrence's enjoyable performance makes this film fun, but the conclusion should have been rethought.
Martin Lawrence, Marsha Thomas, Tom Wilkinson, Vincent Regan, Daryl Mitchell, Michael Burgess, Isabell Monk, Kevin Stillwell, Michael Post, Tim Parati, Mark Joy
Don Ignacio's score: C
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