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Movie Breakdown: King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword

May 12, 2017

Film

Pre-Screening Stance:

The trailers for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword haven’t been all that entertaining, but I like Guy Ritchie and the cast he assembled, so I’m at least mildly interested in the film.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Here’s the setup for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.  Uther (Eric Bana) gets betrayed by his brother, Vortigern (Jude Law), and this leaves a very young Arthur floating in a boat all on his own.  Eventually he’s found by some ladies of the night and they take him in and raise him.  Whilst Arthur is coming of age, his evil uncle begins building a tower that’s supposed to help him rule the world or something, and – of course – he can only be stopped by the Born King and Excalibur.

I will say this for Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur, it’s different.  Usually, the tale is told in a … well, knightly way, but Ritchie flips that on its head by turning Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) into a sort of back alley street brawler with a fast mouth.  This gives the film a nice edge, that’s for sure, but it makes it difficult to root for Arthur.  He’s essentially a thug and he doesn’t ever come off as anyone that should even be a knight, much less a King.  I assume this wasn’t Richie’s intention and that he actually was just trying to make Arthur cool, but it’s one of two fairly large flaws that keeps the film from being good.  The other issue is its breakneck pace.  This thing barrels along as though it’s a race to the finish, and you’re never really given any time to get to know anyone (outside of the generally unlikable Arthur) or to fully understand what the hell is going on.  Maybe a longer, more patient cut will emerge one day and fix everything, but as things stand now, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a very mediocre definition of all style and no substance.  You should wait and watch this one on your couch.

One Last Thought:

There are enormous war elephants in this film, and they made me roll my eyes.  That’s already been done and done well.  It’s time for another large creature to shine.  Maybe a rhino?  Or a hippo?

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