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The Independent Critic

Ken Marshall, Lysette Anthony, Freddie Jones
Peter Yates
Stanford Sherman
Rated PG
117 Mins.

 "Krull" Review 
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The things we do for friends.

At the request of a friend who has sat through more than his fair share of bad flicks for me, I agreed to revisit my rating/review of "Krull," a 1983 sci-fi fantasy flick directed by Peter Yates that got lost in the dust caused by the far more entertaining and satisfying "Return of the Jedi."

"Krull" stars Ken Marshall as Colwyn, a handsome prince (Do they ever have ugly princes?) whose marital alliance with the lovely (Do they ever have ugly maidens?) Lyssa (Lysette Anthony) is meant to unite two kingdoms against the dastardly Beast and his army, the Slayers.

The Beast, however, has other plans for Lyssa and launches a massive attack on Krull that kills both kingdom's kings.  He then kidnaps Lyssa for his own.

Prince Colwyn then heads to the Black Fortress to find an ancient weapon called the Glaive, then he will avenge this massacre and rescue his bride.

I should tell you, in all honesty, that I worked ever so briefly with Peter Yates on the Indiana-based film "Breaking Away." I will also acknowledge that Yates's "The Dresser" is easily one of my favorite films.

I can also tell you, however, that I have absolutely no bias that favors Yates when it comes to "Krull," a disappointing film featuring a remarkably wooden performance by lead Ken Marshall.

Who's Ken Marshall, you ask?

My point exactly.

While Marshall certainly has the handsome looks necessary to portray a prince, he falls dismally short in anything resembling screen presence. As his lovely maiden, Lysette Anthony is certainly beautiful to behold...the only trouble is that the film's producers wanted an American actress in the role and dubbed Anthony's voice, sometimes quite obviously, with that of Lindsay Crouse ("Slap Shot").

Stanford Sherman, who penned television's "Batman," gives "Krull" stilted dialogue and awkward phrasing that brings to mind the worst of the Hayden Christensen/Natalie Portman scenes in the first three "Star Wars" flicks. On the other hand, composer James Horner nearly rescues the film himself with a musical score that is lively, enchanting and atmospheric.

"Krull" also features bit parts for future stars Liam Neeson and Robbie Coltrane, and it's hard to argue that the Glaive is one awesome piece of weaponry.

The conclusion?

Okay, okay. Despite its abundance of cheesiness, wooden performance from Marshall and laughably stilted dialogue, "Krull" isn't quite as horrid as I'd originally claimed.

Do I recommend it? Not a chance. Upon further review, "Krull" goes from a 1.0 to a 1.5 star rating. Lovers of sci-fi and fantasy may find more to love here than did I, but 1983 is still destined to be remembered for "Return of the Jedi."

Peter Yates? Don't worry, he'll always have "Breaking Away" and "The Dresser."

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic