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The premise of Black Knight is a promising one, if only from a financial standpoint: Throw a modern-day Martin Lawrence into 14th-century England and let the back-in-time zaniness take it from there. Laughing already? Well, the studio will be counting on you—after efficiently taking us through the setup, director Gil Junger apparently decided to leave the rest of the movie in the hands of Lawrence and a few cameramen. Lawrence plays Jamal Walker, a medieval-theme-park employee who finds himself truly back in the day after grabbing hold of an underwater medallion in one of the park’s moats. He quickly insinuates himself into the world of accented and armored white folk (and, conveniently, one “Nubian princess” named Victoria), posing as a messenger while he figures out what happened to him. The jokes are one-sided: Jamal is obviously confused about the change in his surroundings, but the Englanders inexplicably accept him into their lives, hardly questioning his football jersey, sneakers, or funny way of talking—though the fair Victoria (Marsha Thomason) does marvel, “You can read and write?” (To which Jamal replies, “Yeah—who you been dating?”) There’s a story about a revolution in there somewhere, along with second-thought morals about having a heart and seeing things through, but Black Knight is mostly designed to set Lawrence loose—teaching the natives to dance, mocking their language, taking advantage of their cluelessness to allow himself a little glory. (He calls himself “Jamal Skywalker” and has himself introduced as a sports hero before entering the king’s chambers.) The movie is really little more than a series of surprisingly unfunny how-would-Jamal-react-now episodes, with threads of the plot poking through here and there. If you’re one of the those who can just look at Lawrence and crack up, you’ll probably find these 95 minutes hilarious; if you’re—God forbid—looking for some decent one-liners and a real story, you’ll be glad when it’s all over. —Tricia Olszewski