Monday, October 22, 2012

Toronto After Dark 2012: My Thoughts on Lloyd the Conqueror

Lloyd the ConquerorI generally consider myself to be a geek.  In addition to my passionate love for movies, I can be found browsing around the Silver Snail comic book store, attending Fan Expo every August, watching The Big Bang Theory, and playing video games whenever I can (including the popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game World of Warcraft).  One geeky activity I’m familiar with, but don’t participate in, is LARPing or Live Action Role Play.  Essentially, it involves dressing up as fantasy characters and having pretend battles in parks.  This is the focus of the comedy Lloyd the Conqueror.

The film focuses on a collage student named Lloyd, who is barely managing to pass through his classes.  After failing a presentation on Beowulf (mostly due the laziness and incompetence of his two friends), Lloyd is given an offer by his professor Derek (Mike Smith – aka Bubbles on Trailer Park Boys) – sign up for his LARPing league and be given enough extra credit to pass the class.  As such, Lloyd and his friends sign up for the league and go under the tutelage of Andy the White Wizard (Brian Posehn).

I’m going to say straight out that I think that LARPing is ridiculous.  However, I do have to say that adds to the comedy of the film.  There is nothing more funnier than seeing grown men in loincloths hitting each other with foam swords.  Also funny is how many of the hardcore LARPers, most especially dark leader Derek, takes this “game” way too seriously to the point that remain in character, even when they are not in costume. 

The film is almost a parody of sports films (and even includes a training montage).  As is the case with most of these types of films, Lloyd starts off joining the league for grades, but it soon becomes something more, as he develops into the leader he is destined to be.  It also doesn’t hurt that he wins the heart of the self-defence teacher Cassandra, who joins as the only truly athletic member of the team.

On the acting side of things, it was neat seeing Mike Smith play a different (and much more sinister) character than he played on Trailer Park Boys.  He is also nearly unrecognizable without the bottleneck glasses.  Brian Posehn (Sarah Silverman Program) is the sole American actor in the film and he shines as someone who is essentially the Obi-Wan Kenobi of LARPing.  The film also features an appearance by Harland Williams as the sole sci-fi LARPer, who thinks that he is being more original than he is in dressing up as a Vulcan observing medieval activities (Sheldon has already done that on The Big Bang Theory).

While I would probably admit that LARPing is a look TOO geeky for me, I would probably conclude by saying that I found Lloyd the Conqueror to be a fun, if not utterly ridiculous film.

8 | LIKED IT