Verdict: 3* out of 5*
Director: Guy Ritchie | Runtime: 125 minutes
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law, Eric Bana
This review first appeared on Cityshor
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is Guy Ritchie’s attempt at spinning out a superhero fantasy from the Arthurian fable. The film has everything Guy Ritchie is famous for – grey sets, his own version of medieval England and its style, slow-motion combat and terse dialogues.
Although it is a known classic tale of destiny and knighthood, he makes sure the audience is gripped by the story with the twist and turns he introduced. Sadly, he focussed too much on the slow-motion fight scenes (which were irrelevant and could have been done away with) and forgot to utilise the acting prowess of the cast – Charlie Hunnam as Arthur seems too much under pressure all the time, Jude Law is forever grim and let’s just not talk about David Beckham (seriously, no!). Jude Law as King Vortigern has a modern sense of style, with a black leather jacket and trousers, he was quite a sight, kind of reminded me of Sherlock Holmes! Also, there is a reason that Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey who plays the Mage has her name just after Charlie Hunnam in the starting credits, she is the only female in the movie to be left alive!
The movie tells the tale of a ‘born king’ and has a lot of sword fight, magic and CGI-animals. The born king, Arthur was separated from his parents when his uncle killed them, however, his father, Uther (Eric Bana) succeeded in getting him float on a boat from Camelot down to Londinium. He was taken in and raised by the women of a brothel and that’s where he learnt fighting skills from Kung-Fu George. When the time comes, the sword shows itself and Arthur pulls the Excalibur from the stone against his wish. It’s the story of a person who is satisfied in his common life but destiny makes him take up challenges and fight the evil. The individual pieces of the movie are what keeps it together for the viewer. The superpowers of the sword and the Mage are mesmerising and well backed up with the CGI and VFX. Ritchie’s version of the Arthurian legend has most of the elements that make it a great plot. The humour is blink and miss but the twists on the age-old legend make up for it.
With the dialogue in the end, “Why have enemies when you can have friends?” one is inclined to think if it is a remark on the Brexit situation! May an Excalibur stab at the political scenario!?