Aug 31, 2012

"Prince Valiant" (1996 film) Review

The Sunday Comics 30's style Comic strip sees the big screen in 1996.

     As you may (or may not), Prince Valiant is a long running Sunday
comic strip following Val, a lesser known member of King Arthur's
Round Table. Set up as 30s comic books where, it was no wonder the
strip was a hit, and to this day scrounges up enough readers despite
its desperate need to be updated to fit in with modern comic books.
Personally, I like the strip. It's clever, has likeable characters who
could very easily stand their own (even the woman characters. Now be
that this is set in mideval times, that says a lot). But still, seeing
as it was so popular, especially back in the 90s when people used to
actually read the papers, it was only a matter of time before a movie

     The 1996 film follows Val's origin story on his very first
quest-- to rescue Excalibur from the hands of the evil, despicable
Vikings (yeah. sorry Thor. Vikings are now evil). It explains many of
the questions newcomers to the strip may have, and by newcomers I mean
anybody that didn't follow it from the beginning.

Stephen Moyer seems to have gotten lost
on his way to his Bill and Ted audition

     Val, despite his sometimes goofy hair and accent, is a
surprisingly likeable, intelligent character, and really does stay
true to the comic. Aleta, his eventual wife and current damsel in
distress, does show signs of independance (she singlehandedly escape
the viking who was about to rape her by pouring candle wax in his
ale), but still falls flat when compared to her comic self (I mean
come on, she learns freaking sorcery there. Fuck the kitchen).

   The action and story hold up surprisingly well. Although there are
minor plot holes and some changes to the story I do wish hever
happened (they kill freaking Gawain), and some parts you can really
tell the fakeness of, you can also tell the crew worked with all that
they had and did their best. The fight scenes are just fun to watch
and exemplify all that a low-budget 90s film has to offer. I mean yes,
compared to a Lord of the Rings there's no contest. But I feel if
given a higher budget and CG effects a remake of this film could very
easily get to that level.

I sill really don't like you.

    In all, Prince Valiant is simply a fun 90s film. Fans of the comic
will love it, despite its flaws, and even outsiders may feel they can
get invested into it once the first 10 minutes are out of the way. Its
not perfect by all means, but if mideval sword battles and epic quests
are your thing, it's definately worth a watch.


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