William Thatcher, a peasant, is sent to apprentice with a Knight named Hector as a young boy. Urged by his father to "change his Stars", he assumes Sir Hector's place in a tournament when Hector dies in the middle of it. He wins. With the other apprentices, he trains and assumes the title of Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein.
This film is "Flashdance" with lances instead of Danskins. The hero, William (Heath Ledger), is locked into serfdom, and is determined to change his stars -- the medieval variant of "go for it!." William wants to be a knight and seizes the opportunity when the knight he serves dies; William pretends to be nobility and adopts a ludicrously royal-sounding name, since "only noble knights can compete" in jousting matches. The picture is good humored, but bland and predictable. It's a cross between an All-American vaudevillian version of "Shakespeare in Love" and Mel Brooks's "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." -- Elvis Mitchell
2001-05-11 | Elvis Mitchell | Read the New York Times Review of A Knight's Tale