Writer and director Brian Helgeland has taken the familiar elements of knighthood tales of adventure and given them some rowdy and refreshing new twists. We know we're in the hands of a witty and relaxed entertainer when we see that the audience at the first jousting tournament is clapping and singing along to Queen's hit "We Will Rock You." Of course, these events were precursors to modern day football games and boxing matches. Be sure to check out the heralds who come up with their own medieval versions of "Let's get ready to rumbleeeee!"
Growing up as the poverty-stricken son of a thatcher, William (Heath Ledger) dreams of one day becoming a knight. Class barriers make that yearning all but impossible. But thanks to a little help from his friends, William gets a chance to "change his stars," as he puts it. His fellow squires, kind-hearted sensitive Roland (Mark Addy) and hot-headed Wat (Alan Tudyk), oversee his training and transformation into the persona of a nobleman Ulrich von Lichtenstein of Gelderland. A vagabond writer, Geoff Chaucer (Paul Bettany), forges the proper lineage papers, and William embarks on his new life as a knight seeking victory on the fields of battle in the jousting tournaments.
Every dreamer must undergo struggles to test his mettle. William squares off with a powerful and nasty elitist enemy Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell). The ardent young man's heart is taken by Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon), a noblewoman who wants a literate lover with the soul of a poet rather than just another machismo jouster who dedicates all his victories to her. Perhaps the person most responsible for William's success is Kate (Laura Fraser), an independent blacksmith who fashions for him a suit of armor that is flexible, lightweight, and incredibly sturdy.A Knight's Tale proves that we can all be champions by squarely facing our fears, daring to risk everything for a goal, and accepting help and direction from others. And, no matter how successful we become, eventually it's important to follow our feet back home and reconnect with our roots.
Special features on the Extended Version DVD include audio commentary with director Brian Helgeland and actor Paul Bettany, behind the scenes featurette, deleted scenes, and an HBO Making-Of Special.