A fairytale as told to a bedridden boy: the willowy Buttercup (Wright), destined as consort to the wicked Prince Humperdinck (Sarandon), is abducted and whisked through a series of life-threatening exploits and miscast comic cameos. The story, adapted from William Goldman's book, is partly a traditional fantasy, with a damsel in distress, dashing lover, evil villains, and lotsa monsters and swordfights, but also a knowing commentary on the conventions of all such tales. The tone falls disconcertingly between straight action adventure and anachronistic Jewish spoof; the leads are vacuous; the absurdities sometimes forced and obvious. Only Guest's sadistic Count Rugen and Patinkin's vengeful Spanish swordsman inject any real enthusiasm into the proceedings; but the film does exude a certain innocent, unassertive charm, and kids will probably love it.
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