The right to compete at jousting in the 14th century comes only by noble birth, but William (Ledger), a thatcher's son determined to realise a childhood dream of knighthood, reinvents himself as Ulric von Liechtenstein of Gelderland. He's soon travelling with a crowd of supporters and winning tournaments across Europe, to the chagrin of his rival Count Adhemar (Sewell). And though he displays little interest in the beautiful Lady Jocelyn - a regular spectator at tournaments and desperately coveted by Adhemar - she soon wins him over, so that he's fighting for her too. Whipping along at speed, with elaborate camera movements and rousing speeches, this knows how to engage a crowd. It's corny, of course, but a guilty pleasure: romantic, diverting, with mildly amusing modern gags. A medieval dance morphs into something funkier, a scrabbling crowd reaches for a flying helmet as if it were a Wimbledon ball, a shield momentarily displays a Nike sign, and crowds chant in French bars before a Paris tournament. But the film is also let down by soppy childhood flashbacks and a mostly gruesome rock soundtrack.