Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

First Knight

First Knight
Sean Connery, Julia Ormond, Richard Gere and Ben Cross

Rated: PG-13 
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: July 7, 1995 Released by: Columbia Pictures

No man alive can be better cast as King Arthur than Sean Connery. Julia Ormond (Legends of the Fall) as Lady Guinevere once again comes between men who love her with tragic consequences. Richard Gere is silly as a vagabond Lancelot, but he is great with sword play, especially when he grabs Arthur's Singing Sword. Together with sporadic direction by Jerry Zucker (Ghost) First Knight is a pale imitation of the "Might for Right" legendary story of "Knights of the Round Table."

Zucker has some fine moments in the film, particularly when using stars and other refracted light to highlight night battle scenes. His story is interesting and hints at a film quality that never materializes. His battle scenes, when shown in total from above and at distances, are spectacular but he insists on including numerous close ups of sword chopping Knights and bad guys which give no hint of the progress of a battle and quickly become mundane.

The story is well known. Guinevere is promised to Arthur and in this version she keeps her word to protect her city, Leonesse, from the local bad guy, Knight Malagant (Ben Cross, Chariots of Fire). On her trip to Camelot, her caravan is attacked by Malagant and she is saved by the gallant Lancelot. Lancelot's heroism and skill are noted by Arthur and Lancelot becomes a Knight of the Round Table.

The sets are fine, realistic and, when necessary, mystic to depict the storybook atmosphere of the kingdom. It has its moments but the sum is less than the total of its parts.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
First Knight  C+                        C+ 

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