A Knight To Forget
The Knight Before Christmas feels like a painting by numbers book. It’s fun, enjoyable but ultimately lacking in long-lasting thrills and creativity. With a simple plot we’ve all seen a million times before and a sprinkling of Christmas tropes throughout, The Knight Before Christmas is a heartwarming, throwaway film that embraces its own simplicity but fails to stand out next to the glut of other films in this genre.
The story is pretty simple and waste no time getting to the crux of the drama. A 13th Century knight by the name of Sir Cole is magically transported through time by a mysterious old lady with a simple mission – one he must complete by 11.59pm on December 24th in order to return to his time. The core plot takes elements from both Enchanted and Kate & Leopold, sprinkles in some Christmas cheer and mixes them up together in a bubbling brew of mulled wine to create this average Christmas cocktail.
The familiarity extends over to the entire structure of the film too, which follows all the usual plot beats you’d expect, with a surprising lack of dramatic hurdles for our two leads to face late on. While this in itself is fine, the film lacks the dramatic punch needed for this one to feel more involving.
The script is littered with numerous expository-driven exchanges too which stifles the natural chemistry between characters. Thankfully, the final third of the film does dial this back a little and allow the two to begin settling into their roles but it never quite feels enough to sell you on their romance. What does stand out however, is Josh Whitehouse’s performance who does a wonderful job bringing this gallant knight to life.
It’s also worth noting some of the scene composition here, which showcases some strange stylistic choices to say the least. From characters standing idly by in the background watching our two leads kiss or talk, through to one particular scene during a party that looks like someone’s been photoshopped into the foreground, The Knight Before Christmas is held back by some of these decisions. Thankfully these moments are few and far between and don’t detract from the film too much.
Despite some nice anachronistic jokes and a genuinely heartwarming tone, The Knight Before Christmas is unfortunately a very generic film, failing to offer anything original or unique next to others in this genre. If you’re in the mood for a rom-com or a drama to stick on in the background while wrapping presents, The Knight Before Christmas is worth sticking on, but this is unlikely to be a film you’ll return to in a hurry once you’re done.