Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Knights of Badassdom

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: NA (Critics) / 61% (Audience)
Directed By: Joe Lynch
Written By: Kevin Dreyfuss and Matt Wall
Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn, Peter Dinklage, Danny Pudi, Margarita Levieva and Summer Glau
Studio: Entertainment One Films

Synopsis: KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM follows three best friends (Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn and Ryan Kwanten) and dedicated LARPers (Live Action Role Players) as they take to the woods to reenact a dungeons and dragons-like scenario fresh out of the mythical Middle Ages. Trouble arises after they unwittingly conjure up some serious evil in the form of a blood-lusting Succubus, from the pits of hell. – (Source)

The Good:
This movie was trudging along as a serviceable and pleasant enough look at slackers, geeks and LARPing, a corner of geekdom that doesn’t get much attention and to the film’s credit it poked fun without being mean-spirited or denigrating to the activity and the people who enjoy. But at about the halfway point of this movie THINGS GOT REAL! So real it actually made me sit up and take notice. Seeing actors from some of your favorite TV shows getting butchered by a Succubus tends to do that though. That sudden sharp turn into legit horror was a good smack in the face and made this movie a lot more interesting than it had been up to that point.
It was that cast of actors with full-on geek cred that was the main selling point for me with this film and they all delivered with their performances.

The Bad:
The film spent a bit too much on the set up without really digging deeper into the characters. I cared about who lived and died but it had more to do with my liking the actors in the role and not really about the characters they were playing.

The Ugly
That final monster looks like one of the creature make-ups that a contestant on the SyFy reality show FACE-OFF would put together. Now I am always duly impressed by the make-up and fabrication skills of the contestants on that show because they do wonders under a stressful time limit of 2 to 3 days. I fail to be impressed when that same quality of monster design is done on a full length feature film.

Final Verdict: KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM gets credit for its playful winking at a hobby that leaves itself open to mean spirited teasing. Sure these people who love to LARP are geeks but they are also shown as full human beings and not just caricatures (for the most part). And the chemistry between the actors helps buoy what is essentially a low budget schlocky horror/comedy. It aint great but it is a fun enough diversion for 90 minutes.

Grade: C+

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