Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Suburban Knights: When a sequel isn't really a sequel

What's the first rule of a sequel... more often then not its keeping the same theme as the first film. One year after the release of Kickassia, the Channel Awesome team bring out a new film that... somehow connects to Kickassia (in other ways besides mentions). The hunt is on for a power of old, time to delve into fantasy with Suburban Knights.

Disclaimer: I know its not the cover, I couldn't find a good image of the cover

With a fantasy theme in mind (if you couldn't tell from the title), what's the plot of this sequel that is only a sequel by broadest definition of the term, Malachite, a sorcerer from the times of old is seeking a device known as Malachite's Hand, a gauntlet that amplifies his magical powers, and intends to use it to destroy technology and gain eternal youth and infinite magical power (it isn't referred to as mana, instead Life force, same basic jist). The Nostalgia Critic has learned of the gauntlet and intends to use it to make himself (and the rest of the TGWTG team) rich beyond their wildest dreams. In order to solve the clues on the map that they obtained (not going to spoil how), they must dress in the attire of fantasy characters and solve fantasy themed riddles. Most of the cast from Kickassia returns in this film but are joined by more members of the TGWTG team (as to who they are, that would be giving something away).

As with Kickassia, references are plentiful, but more confined to fantasy themed content and not their own for the most part, while there are references to their content, there isn't as much when comparing it to Kickassia. The humor in this is also hit or miss with some of the jokes not coming off as funny. The jokes relating to the locations of the movie get a laugh out of me but other jokes like the Nostalgia Critic getting used to wearing a tunic (without pants unlike Adult Link, take a guess as to his costume choice) just come off as sad attempts at humor (to me at least, but I'm not one for that kind of humor). Malachite also comes off as humorous, but not because of his character but the way the others interact with him. He's a badass in this so to see the way other characters react to him is genuinely funny.

As with Kickassia, the cinematography, animation and sound design are on par with aspiring film maker making do with the resources that he has, but the setting this time hinders this. While I'm not saying the desert is a better setting then a forest or suburbia, the lighting of Suburban Knights is more washed out then Kickassia was (due to it looking more overcast, though that could be viewing quality). Its a issue with colour balancing to Daylight (a term I'm not going to go into detail here, but insist you look up yourself as I may bring the term up again at a latter time). While I applaud the wider variety in locations when compared to its predecessor and the jokes around them are funny, the location choices feel like they've just walked around and wrote the script based purely on  what was in the local area (look for the playground battlefields for a case in point).

Finally, the whole film feels like its trying to be Kickassia again, but with a fantasy theme. While it's not as blatant as the Bayformers films, there are time where I feel like I've seen this in Kickassia. This could just be me admittedly, but I will stand by it. The film is enjoyable and considering next week, I recommend you watch it. The story is enjoyable and the cast do get some good lines and jokes (hands down, best character is Spoony as Gandalf purely based on how he gets into character, second probably going to Linkara as King Arther). I will say though that it isn't the strongest of the trilogy of films. And with that last statement in mind, from taking over a micro-nation, to obtaining a glove of infinite power, to traveling to the stars... I never said this trilogy was concise... To Boldly Flee.

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