Black Adder Remastered II

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  • BLACK ADDER II REMASTERED (DVD MOVIE)

Product Description
Studio: Warner Home Video Release Date: 10/20/2009 Run time: 194 minutes Rating: Nr… More >>

Black Adder Remastered II

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  1. Against all odds and certain laws of evolution, apparently the primary characters of “Black Adder I” managed to reproduce.

    Amazingly, this is fortunate for us, because it turns out that “Black Adder II” is hilariously superior to the previous season in just about every way possible. Rowan Atkinson is pitch-perfect as the acid-tongued Lord Edmund Blackadder, who is forced to navigate a surreal Elizabethan court full of bizarre characters and hysterical dialogue.

    After (temporarily) firing Baldrick (Tony Robinson), Blackadder (Atkinson) hires a new manservant, Bob — who is actually a girl named Kate, who is trying to escape a life of prostitution (“It’s a steady job, and you’d be working from home!”) by pretending to be a boy.

    But predictably, Blackadder soon finds himself sexually attracted to “Bob,” which unnerves him greatly. After visiting a leech-obsessed doctor and a crazy wise woman, Blackadder finds out the truth about his “manservant” and decides to marry her. But of course, the course of love never did run smooth — especially not for a Blackadder.

    Things don’t get much better for Blackadder after that — insane Queen Bess (Miranda Richardson) appoints him Lord High Executioner, and he tries to make the process more efficient. After sneering at Sir Walter “Ooh What A Big Ship I’ve Got” Raleigh, he ends up on a round-the-world voyage to find something as interesting as a potato and bring it back to the Queen. And due to an old loan, he finds himself on the bad side of the “baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells.”

    Additionally, the Queen commands him to throw a beer-soaked debauch on the same evening that his wealthy Puritan relatives are visiting. And after Blackadder and his nemesis Melchett (Stephen Fry) are kidnapped by a charades-playing inquisitor, they find themselves at the mercy of the waitress/sheep impersonator, Prince Ludwig the Indestructible!

    Somehow the first season of “Black Adder” never really impressed me, since most of its humor came from the superhuman repulsiveness of its title character. Fortunately they added a new writer in the second season, and suddenly everything about the series clicked into place — the writing, insults and historical mayhem all suddenly went from funny to sidesplitting.

    Much of this comes from the incredibly surreal plots: usually it’s Edmund in over his head and surrounded by people he deplores and/or fears, in a situation that spins out of control. Deranged sea captains who can’t find France, rubber breasts, a bombastic self-absorbed adventurer, turnips shaped like naughty bits, and an inconvenient severed head all come into play, making life MUCH more difficult for Edmund.

    But the real genius is the dialogue, which ranges from mildly insulting (“Am I paying for this abuse, or is it extra?” “All part of the service”) to hilariously barbed (“My name is Edmund Blackadder, and I’m the new minister in charge of religious genocide”). There’s a lot of raunchy jokes, irreverent mockery of revered English monarchs, and fun moments where they poke fun at the Elizabethan era (“It wouldn’t have anything to do with LEECHES, would it?”).

    Rowan Atkinson is the heart of all this jaded, nasty hilarity. He does a simply brilliant job as the one semi-intelligent person in a court of nincompoops, who deals with it by having thinly-veiled contempt for everybody and a tongue woven from barbed wire. Robinson is suitably gross and not-very-bright as his faithful servant Baldrick.

    Supporting them: Richardson is brilliant as a squealy, childish Elizabeth I (“There’s simply HUNDREDS of Catholics who DESPERATELY want their heads SNICKED off…. and there’s no one to organize it!”), while Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Miriam Margoyles add to the surreal wit. And watch for Tom Baker as the deranged sea captain who’s obviously not had a girlfriend recently.

    “Black Adder II” magnifies everything that was enjoyable about the first “Black Adder” season and shucks away everything that wasn’t. Comic brilliance.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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