The first sign of any good comedy is quotability. Do people quote lines from your film long after they watched it and still laugh? Congratulations! You’ve made a successful comedy!
Which doesn’t happen anymore. Nowadays, it’s either gross-out comedy or Marvel-style equipping. To be honest, I’m kind of sick of it. You can only have so much of anything before it gets stale. Especially when it’s either shallow or just straight-up bad.
So imagine how refreshing it was to revisit this movie!
The guys behind Monty Python have made some of the funniest films of all time. Life of Brian and Flying Circus are, in my opinion, the pinacle of dark comedy movies. But if you ask me, Holy Grail will always be their best work. Call me basic all you like! I stand by that opinion! After all, I can’t think of a single movie that I’ve quoted more in my entire life!
Plot: An Average D&D Party’s Hunt for the Holy Grail
Actually, I take that back. Most D&D groups are more productive then these guys.
Our story follows King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. They receive a quest from God to find the Holy Grail. All of them part for their own quests to find it and… shenanigans ensue.
How else would you describe it?!
This movie is not meant to tell a compelling narrative. For god’s sake, the ending is literally all the characters getting arrested by modern day (or at least, 1980s) British cops! There’s no character development, no plot developments, nothing like that. The overarching narrative is more of a framing tool, used to put characters in different comedic situations.
I can’t say it’s a bad thing. Cause god damn, this movie is hysterical!
Every scene in this movie has at least one iconic joke. Lancelot’s ‘rescue’ (that’s a personal favorite of mine), the Holy Hand Grenade, the Black Knight, the Knights who Say “Ni”, the murder rabbit, the list goes on! And no matter how many times you watch them, they’ll always get at least a chuckle out of you! From comedic dialogue to visual gags, this movie fires on all cylinders from beginning to end!
And… that’s kind of all I can say! It’s a series of jokes, some amazing and some less so. If you need a thorough laugh, I can think of few movies better than this one. But if you’re in the mood for an actual story? What the fuck are you doing watching this movie?
Presentation: Ah, Minituares and Mat Paintings, How I’ve Missed You
Remember the days before everything was computer animated? I miss those.
This is definitely the area that has aged the most. But I’m not gonna lie: I love how old movies like this look! Flimsy looking sets and props? Old-timey film grain? Stiff animation? An old orchestral score that is ironically great?! I’ll take ’em all any day of the week!
I only wish it were consistent. There are some shots that are crisp enough to make out clearly, while some are so fuzzy that I practically have to squint. For all I know, that might be some kind of joke; everything in this movie is. But it is kind of jarring at times.
Oh well. Chalk it up to age, I guess. Which, again: I find rather charming.
When did comedies stop being this good? Like, what was the turning point? We used to get movies like this, Spaceballs, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and Ghostbusters! Why are we now stuck with trash like literally every modern comedy film ever made!
Luckily, all those movies I mentioned still exist. And the only one that’s been beaten to death via franchising has been Ghostbusters! Which is…. pretty depressing.
If you’re as sick of modern comedies as I am, then you need to go back to this one. It’s a huge breath of fresh air, one that gives me a good laugh no matter how many times I watch it or how old I get! It’s a true comedic classic.
Now, onto Life of Brian. After I catch my breath…