A REVIEW - King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword
Can I first just say how upset I am with all these movie critics who seem to have created this unified campaign to tear this film to shreds! It literally has a 28% on Rotten Tomatoes and while that website is becoming more and more of a joke, the optimistic part of me still believes that there are still some critical contributors with some common sense. But now I’m convinced they’re all just pretentious and spoiled and think movies set in these specific genres are trash if they aren’t like Game Of Thrones or Lord Of The Rings. So don’t believe the negative reviews from critics, their opinions no longer reflect the movie audience of today. That being said, let’s move on to the actual film itself.
There have been many iterations of the story of King Arthur, Excalibur, Knights of the Roundtable, and Camelot to last of lifetime. From movies to television series, this story has been recycled more times than a Batman franchise. However, if the story was going to be told again it needed a fresh new spin and that’s what we got from director Guy Ritchie. Now I’m not too familiar with Ritchie’s aesthetic as a filmmaker and his past work never really stood out to me. I’m sure I’m in a league of my own when I say that I tried watching Sherlock Holmes three times and fell asleep on every single sitting. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good film, it just didn’t keep my attention. But from what I saw from King Arthur, Ritchie definitely has a niche way of storytelling on film and it shows. There was one particular method – using quick cuts to explain a story while it’s happening – is a genius move but by the third time, it got a bit repetitive and lost it’s edge. Other than that, from beginning to end this film was a very enjoyable ride.
It’s obvious the story was changed a bit from the original tale we all have known but I feel like it worked and made the film that much more interesting. Charlie Hunnam was very believable as Arthur. Showing us his upbringing as a LIAR and A SCAMMER *cue Joanna Prada voice*, it was interesting to see his path from lowly peasant to accepting his birth right as heir to the throne and savior of the people. While not necessarily Oscar-worthy, Hunnam definitely shows that he can be more than just a redneck biker from his Sons of Anarchy role that most of the world know him from. Jude Law as Vortigern and Astrid Berges-Frisbey as The Mage were my main issues with this film. They both had very important roles but sometimes just made me roll my eyes at how mechanical and unconvincing they were in certain parts. The rest of the cast were good additions although weren’t given much backstory… mainly a result of the fact that most people seeing this movie know who they are already based on the story itself.
But that is not what made this film so enjoyable. Visually the film is breathtaking. The set pieces, the effects, the music, the magical elements, the mystical creatures all played apart in pulling you into this world of fantasy. I won’t deny that there were moments that seemed similar to fantasy films like 300 or The Hobbit, but Guy Ritchie’s use of camera angles and slow motion made them feel original.
The story was well paced and well written. The elements of comedy didn’t seem out of place at all. It actually made it feel more realistically. I don’t think the modern movie going audience wants to go see a film where the dialogue is written like poetry. While that type of storytelling is beautiful, we are living in a world where Iron Man and Optimus Prime dominate the box office so if you’re going to spend $175 million on a film the least you could do is not bore me with some long, shakespearean dialogue that’s more suited for broadway than an action packed fantasy film.
Overall, King Arthur: Legend Of the Sword lives up to the hype of it’s marketing campaign. Its a fresh, innovative adaption on a classic tale we all know and love. It’s especially a cool interpretation to tell a story set in medieval times with a man like Guy Ritchie at the helm. Truly some of his best work. My hope is that the film does well overseas just so that the film studio can get a return on their investment and feel inspired to want to do a sequel. Apparently, this film was gonna set in motion five more sequels after it. Hopefully, the positive feedback from the general audience despite the negative feedback from critics will show that a sequel is well deserved.
8 our 10 stars for me.
Go see this film. Like me, you will pleasantly surprised at how much you enjoy it!