King Knight Updates: We first saw the trailer for director Richard Bates Jr.’s “outsider’s outsider comedy” King Knight (that trailer is included above) five months ago, and we knew that the picture will have its international debut at the Fantasia Film Festival. Now we know when a bigger audience will be able to see it: King Knight will be released theatrically and on VOD on February 17th.
Richard Bates Jr. has established a reputation for weird and frequently sardonic genre entertainment. Excision, his debut film, is remains one of this reviewer’s all-time favourite horror films. Tone-Deaf is a harsh societal satire, while Suburban Gothic, released in 2014, was more obviously comedic. But his new picture, King Knight, which premiered this month at Montreal’s legendary Fantasia Fest, loses the cynicism of the past, paving a new and more compassionate route for the filmmaker. However, the viewer must decide whether this is a better way.
King Knight SUMMARY OF THE FILM
King Knight exposes us to a modern-day LA coven of witches. Thorn (Matthew Gray Gubler), an outsider’s outsider who has built a space for those like him, is their leader. But the truth is that he is nothing like them. That is the major conflict in this storey: Thorn wasn’t some cool LA outsider—whatever that means—but rather a popular jock who excelled in high school before deciding to become a witch. It’s as ridiculous as it sounds, and how much you appreciate your comedy will determine how much you enjoy the picture. Nelson Franklin, Kate Comer, Angela Sarafyan, Emily Chang, and Andy Milonakis are among the ensemble members that help Bates sell his rather uneven farce.
When the picture leans into the weird and the kind, it’s at its best. It has a good fundamental message of being true to yourself and accepting all of your parts. It’s also the type of wacky indie comedy that we don’t see very often. Thorn is a sympathetic and thoughtful protagonist, but one who is also entirely full of himself and his own achievements and faults, as Gubler portrays him.
One of King Knight’s main problems is that it doesn’t always treat its primary group with love. Our characters are occasionally the Wiccan coven, who have heartfelt breakthroughs and enjoy humorous, if dumb, moments. Bates Jr. isn’t sure whether he wants us to like or laugh at them. It’s an inconsistency that jars what could otherwise be a lighthearted comedy, occasionally slamming the “outsiders” it’s supposed to be focusing on. That’s primarily because the Wiccan coven feels more like an improve comedy sketch that went viral.
However, they never developed them into fully developed, live characters. Even if it never really finds itself, if you appreciate found family narratives and broad crazy comedy, you’ll likely enjoy this experimental and amusing frolic about finding ourselves and our folks.
Richard Bates Jr. directs King Knight, which will be released on February 17, 2022. This film will last for 1 hour and 18 minutes and will be available in English.