Monday, May 5, 2014

Gaming Geek's Review: Knights of Badassdom

Step right up boys and girls! Join the fun! Get your armor! Get your foam weapons! Its time to step into the magical land of LARPing (Live Action Roleplaying) and go on a quest! What's that? You don't LARP? Well, that's all right. LARPing isn't for everyone. How about we review a movie instead? Sure, you say? Excellent! Let's get down to it! Today, we review Knights of Badassdom

So, let's get started my friends. First off, Knights of Badassdom stars Peter Dinklage, better known to most of you as Tyrion Lannister from HBO's Game of Thrones, Steve Zahn from Sahara and Daddy Day Care, Ryan Kwanten, known to most as Jason Stackhouse on HBO's True Blood, and Summer Glau from Firefly, Serenity, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

In this movie, three friends Hung, Eric, and Joe (Dinklage, Zahn, and Kwanten respectively) share many interests. Eric is rich and Joe lives with him, not really trying to push himself in the world since not doing so benefits him and his friends. This leads to Joe being dumped by his girlfriend Beth (played by Margarita Levieva) because she feels that he will hold her back in life. Joe's friends, realizing that they need to do something to snap him out of the funk he is in, kidnap him and take him to their live action roleplaying (LARP) event at the state park. Joe awakens in armor and at first refuses to join in. However, Eric and Hung convince him after a bit of persuading. While Hung teaches Joe the combat system Joe gets distracted by fellow LARPer Gwen (Glau) who stops and watches. One of the stipulations to Joe playing is that he must be resurrected by Eric's character. 

During the resurrection, Eric uses a book he found online that looks mystical. In fact, it is indeed mystical. It is a magical tome that was used by a man who summoned demons in the 1600s. Reading a random page, Eric actually summons a succubus who looks exactly like Beth, to the world. While the LARP party begins their quests, the succubus goes about, spreading chaos and murder as she kills multiple people and eats parts of them. 

Things come to the forefront when part of the party (they split up to complete their quest faster) comes upon succubus-Berth. Hung, high off of shrooms, can see her for what she really is, while the others there cannot. He attempts to attack and drive her off, only to be thrown aside. Carrying an illegal weapon, just in case, Hung stabs at the demon only to be killed and tossed aside. Another LARPer, hiding in the nearby restroom, is killed inside, with parts strewn everywhere. 

Joe, Eric, Gwen, and her overbearing cousin show up. They discover the terrible scene and rush back to Eric's van to get more real weapons. They also call the cops. From there, they go to the main battlefield, where hundreds of innocent LARPers are getting ready to fight a "war" between kingdoms. En-route, they encounter the demon again and Eric reads from the book to send it away. The game master arrives, recognizes the book, and informs Eric that he only made it stronger. Meanwhile, the war is underway, and the cops, also local rednecks who harass the LARPers with paintball guns, show up and start harassing the LARPers. The monster swoops in and begins raining down death and destruction upon everyone. 

With most of the LARPers and rednecks dead, our heroes show up and begin to fight. Using the rednecks' truck, they pin the monster. From there, they attempt to fight the monster and find a way to dispel it. During this, Eric saves Joe from dying of a fiery blast. The book is destroyed. Out of options, Joe tells Eric to play a metal song. Joe sings, and in doing so while holding the magical stone that was attached to the book, summons a ghostly Hung to fight and slay the beast, using lyrics to describe the monster's downfall. In the end, ghost-Hung kills the beast, disappears into the sky, and our heroes have saved whats left of the LARPers from certain death. 

While everyone alive has a happy ending of a sort, the movie does leave us wondering about the aftermath. How many people died? Is the park still open? Was there an investigation into what happened? With as many dead people as were on display at the park. there is no way that law enforcement would not have investigated. Unless those left cleaned everything up and hid bodies and such. Which would put a whole different twist onto the happy ending provided. 

Overall the movie is a fun watch. I don't know if I'd buy it, but it is definitely fun to watch if you are a geek. I give Knights of Badassdom 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

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