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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Nov 10: Krull


Nov 10: Krull

"A prince and a fellowship of companions set out to rescue his bride from a fortress of alien invaders who have arrived on their home planet."
Directed by: Peter Yates, Rated: PG, 121 minutes

The 80s gave way to more than enough fantasy movies. From Labyrinth and Willow, to Legend and The NeverEnding Story, we were transported to fantastical worlds and encountered all sorts of creatures. Unfortunately, not all of these adventures are worth remembering, and the 1983 bomb, Krull, is no exception. It's a terrible, terrible film that tries to ride off the coattails of the previously mentioned fantasy flicks, while injecting doses of Star Wars and Star Trek for safe measure. However, that's really all it is. It barely brings anything new to the table and the parts that are clearly borrowed from more familiar films just don't fit. It tries to appease each genres' fans and goes nowhere.

Swords and lasers don't mix, no matter what Star Wars taught us. 

Krull follows the story of the Prince Colwyn (Ken Marshall) and his journey to save the love of his life, Lyssa (Lysette Anthony) from The Black Fortress, the home of an alien group of invaders known as Slayers. Colwyn is joined by a handful of companions, from the bandit leader Torquil (Alun Armstrong), the wise Seer (John Welsh), a shape-shifting comic relief, Ergo (David Battley), and an out-of-place Cyclops that can see the future. Of course, Colwyn's adventure sees him facing all sorts of dangers, from falling rocks, evil magic, and of course, the Slayers, and he must use a magical glaive and the sorcery he can conjure with the help of his love, to take down The Black Fortress. In Krull, everything takes as long as possible to happen, and each scene must be dragged out for what seems like eternity, to fit an already lengthy run-time. Each obstacle, as well its conquering or destruction, is stretched out for as long as possible and it gives you plenty of time to be disgusted by the dated effects and awful acting. Krull just gives you too many chances to hate it and reminds you over and over of how boring this glorious adventure of love really is. 

Marshall has this look on his face for 90% of the movie. 

I'd like to say that Krull really puts forth the effort to be something special, but I feel so much of what plays out on screen was put together with $10 and a fancy "Hollywood" camera. The movie lacks any substance or depth to give a damn about the characters and what happens to them (when some die, you don't care... at all) and the "grandness" of the journey unfolding never captures your imagination. Ken Marshall fits the lead role, physically, but his acting is so shallow and phoned in, you can't relate or cheer for him. He's in the role for his looks but lacks the charisma. Marshall's supporting cast is just as lackluster and the only standouts (for their names alone) are the incredibly young Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane (Haggrid). Even then though, their roles are diminished to background characters and are never given the chance to be the true badasses they grew up to be. Everyone else is forgettable and it's such a shame, as the gang that comes together is very reminiscent of the fellowship in Lord of the Rings. But none of the characters stand out on their own and are more quantity than quality to Marshall's leading man.

Before he was Jesus/Zeus/Ra's, he was... Kegan. 

Krull never takes off and just drags on for two hours. It's unimaginative and lacks any of the magic that made other 80s fantasy movies so memorable. Ken Marshall went on to do pretty much nothing after Krull, so it's safe to assume that he never had the talent in the first place. He never brings the movie to great heights and while he doesn't necessarily drag it down, but he just blends into the bloated, boring cast. The story lacks any true notion of a greater good fighting an even bigger evil, and the danger presented feels forced instead of genuine. Unfortunately, I took very little away from Krull and highly recommend avoiding it like the plague. I had absolutely no fun watching the film and was so bored, the only entertainment I could find was counting down the minutes left in the movie. 

The Good:
seeing a young Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane, even if its as brief as it is
The Bad:
the movie has the amount of imagination it would take to create a Power Rangers villain
The Ugly:
the 2+ hours I spent suffering through this and knowing I will never get it back

Overall: 2.0/10

Discussion Question:
What are some of your favorite fantasy movies from the 80s? Any forgotten gems you'd highly recommend?


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At November 10, 2012 at 11:41 PM , Blogger Richard Kirkham said...

This movie was financed by Ted Mann, who owned a chain of theaters in the late seventies and eighties (including the famous Chines Theater in Hollywood, which he billed as Mann's Chinese theater. Fortunately it has reverted back to the historical title using Sid Grauman's name). It was his only attempt to become a movie mogul as well as a distributor. The trailers highlighted interesting looks and characters, but then gave them no depth in the film. It was a big disappointment, although the score is actually pretty good. There was a restaurant with a marquee next door to the theater we saw this at in 1983. Up on the marquee they had written a little ad "Krull on over after the movie for dessert". We still use that bad pun from time to time.

At November 10, 2012 at 11:50 PM , Blogger Nick said...

You never fail to teach me something, Richard. Love the pun! lol

At November 12, 2012 at 8:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Don't Care What Anyone Says...
...I Still Love "KRULL" And I Always Shall.
I'm A Lover Of 80s Sci-Fi-Fantasy-Crap'Tastic Flicks...
...And "KRULL" Is King Of That Mountain.
"FLASH GORDON" Runs It A Close CLOSE 2ND! ;)

At November 12, 2012 at 10:13 AM , Blogger Nick said...

To each his own lol


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