Friday, 7 December 2007

Film: Jabberwocky

Lowdown: Even the Pythons can have a bad day.
For years I have been walking around in shame. The Monty Python fan that I am (well, to one extent or another; Jo's much more of a warmer fan) has never seen one of their feature length films, Jabberwocky! In fact, the only thing I knew about this film up until watching it now were my best friend Uri's famous words, "it's not a particularly good film to say the least" (freely translated and very freely shaped by my memory due to the effect of years gone by since those famous words were uttered).
Anyway, now that I've seen the film, the main thing I have to say is that Uri was on the spot there. Jabberwocky is a pretty bad film, one of those films that you're better off not watching.
The story is very simple; too simple, in fact. Set in medieval England, the times are tough and a monster (the Jabberwocky) is roaming the land eating all the villagers. Michael Palin plays a stupid son of a village cooper called Dennis Cooper who is in love with an ugly maid that doesn't look in his general direction. Circumstances force Palin to go to the big city to try his luck there, and through seemingly unexpected circumstances (yet very much expected because we've all seen this film hundreds of times in different guises) he ends up being pitted against the monster.
Not much of a plot, but then again Holly Grail didn't have much of a plot either but it was a smashingly funny film. Thing is, Jabberwocky isn't funny; it's mostly pathetic. Sure, there are some funny jokes (three; I've counted), but the rest is not funny and too heavily based on toilet humor or on giving people silly names. Yes, things are that sophisticated.
Production values are extremely poor. No doubt this is due to the film's poor budget, but this is way too much; it all looks way too pathetic. And given the plot and the generally not funny nature of the film, Jabberwocky is a film to miss.
Best scene: The king is hosting a tournament to find a knight that would face the monster, but with all the fighting too many knights get maimed. The solution: the winning knight is selected in a game of hide and seek played between knights in full plate armor.
Overall: Do yourself a favor and avoid Jabberwocky. Try Holly Grail instead: it's got the same look and feel but it's actually good. In the mean time, Jabberwocky scores 1.5 out of 5 stars.


Uri said...

I still like Life of Brian best.

Moshe Reuveni said...

I agree.