Let's make one thing clear. This, as most critics are quick to jump to, is NOT simply Gilliam trying to recapture Holy Grail. I take it as more of Gilliam simply liking the mediaeval theme and elaborating on it a bit, this time with a more plot-driven tail.
Palin stars as a kind-hearted bumbling son of a barrel maker. After being denounced by his own father on his death bed and ousted by his love, he decided to leave his comfortable country existence for city life. Only problem is that recently the city has been under storm by a very large and frightening monster. Plain makes it to the city, where he struggles a bit before meeting a squire who gives him food, room, and a job. The king stages a tournament to see which of his knights is to fight the monster, and Palin eventually ends up chasing after it.
The plot, sort of like BRAZIL, is presented in a bunch of confusing images. It's easy to get lost while watching this film, added to the confusing editing it the fact that most copies of it aren't of very good quality.
Some of the humour falls flat, and the editing is a bit too confusing, but the harsh, overly-realistic set and costume design and the great Gilliam cinematography more than make up for it. For once, a medieval odyssey as it would have actually looked.
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