It has the talented cast, and it has the promise to be a charm like many other medieval animated films. But “Justin and the Knights of Valour” is a below par effort from all involved.
Justin (voiced by Freddie Highmore) has dreams of being a knight, but his father wants him to attend law school. It’s a time when knights are outlawed, and bureaucrats have taken over, making ridiculous laws for just about every single thing imaginable.
In a way, it parallels the political correctness ruining the nation today. That’s as far as I’m going to take it with politics.
Anyway, Justin goes against his father’s wishes (of course) and trains to become a knight. Then he meets the cute bartender (Saiorse Ronan) and tries to win her over. But first, Justin must stop a banished knight (Mark Strong) and his flamboyant sidekick (Rupert Everett) from trying to overthrow the queen.
One could have easily forgiven the film for its standard plot. Look at other films like “Brave” that had something similar. But it’s hard to forgive a film that doesn’t even try to be different from the rest of the animated bunch.
Antonio Banderas makes an appearance as Sir Clorex, the knight who thinks he’s the best in the kingdom and every girl wants him. On one hand, that’s true, since he does sign autographs for a few of them. Who knew fandom was such a thing in medieval times?
The animation registers way below anything done by Pixar or DreamWorks, or even anything done by most other studios. It is just a cheap-looking film that almost seems like it is trying to knock off some of the best that’s already out there.
The story crams itself with way too many characters that it’s hard to find any interest in any of them. Even Justin is kind of a dull character.
And what little humor it has consists of something physical – like saliva going into someone’s beer or our main character getting hit in the groin during training. Or there’s dialogue that spews out of the characters’ mouths and falls flat.
“Justin and the Knights of Valour” is an unfunny, uninteresting medieval animated feature.
The picture and audio come across just fine, but there aren’t any special features on the disc.