Review: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

 

 

 

This week Brittney G shares her thoughts on Guy Rithcie’s new film, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

 

 

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword(2017)

Directed by Guy Ritchie

Release date: 5/12/17

by: Brittney G.

 

 

Guy Ritchie (Snatch, RocknRolla) is back with a fresh twist on Arthurian legend as only he can do it. If you're looking to get a by the book rehashing of the rise of King Arthur, you won't get that here. We get a street wise, brothel raised Arthur played by Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim) who takes on his power hungry, dark magic using uncle, Vortigern played by Jude Law (Gattaca, Repo Men). It's up to Arthur and his band of merry men to save themselves & the townspeople...wait, wrong legend but it works. As usual, I don't want to get too spoilery so some parts are vague, while other things are left out.

 

 

Gone from this tale are Merlin (mostly) and Lancelot. But we do get a solid if not slightly underutilized supporting cast. Along with Bedivere (Djimon Hounsou - Guardians of the Galaxy, Constantine), Goosefat Bill (Aiden Gillen – Game of Thrones, The Wire) and a mysterious apprentice of Merlin simply known as The Mage (Astrid Berges-Frisbey – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Arthur and his pals gear up to clash with Vortigern. Vortigern makes it his goal to kill whomever can pull the sword from the stone thus usurping him from the throne he stole when he murdered his brother/Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana – Hulk, Deliver Us From Evil). He rounds up all eligible men who would be about the right age per a prophecy to test if they can pull the sword. Those who fail are branded and released. Due to a scuffle with some Vikings who happen to be protected by the King, Arthur is rounded up and taken to prove himself at the stone's site as he is lacking in a brand. As you would guess, Arthur pulls the sword and is imbued with powers that make him a nearly invincible badass in combat. The effect they use to show this is pretty cool. Instead of just slicing his foes in half, they are blown back and sometimes incinerated by the power of the sword. Slow mo style of course. Maybe they did this to meet the guidelines of a PG-13 movie regarding bloodshed but it's pretty neat nonetheless. We do get the witty banter, quippy one liners and fast cut shots we love and come to expect from Ritchie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were a few things that fell flat or I felt could be improved upon. The movie clocks in at 2 hrs and 6 mins. Really about average but it seems like the pacing is off and as a result, the movie feels a bit long in certain places. For this to be an action packed movie, the fight scenes were bland IMO. There are a few moments that are satisfying but overall, it was lacking for me. A minor complaint, but the CGI for the creatures is pretty obvious. I didn't expect it to look life like necessarily especially considering the animals/creatures in the movie are greatly exaggerated in size but it kind of bothered me. Yes, it's probably just a me thing. That being said, during the scenes where our hero wields his sword, they feel like they are from Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy. Something about the blue glow given off from the sword along with the stylized slow motion. It's not bad. Just something I noticed that was fun but simultaneously felt like more of a hindrance than anything to the scenes. Speaking of those slow motion scenes, the way the movie is shot, it's like I should be watching an angsty music video. The shots are very dramatic (aka moar slo-mo!!), silent screams are accompanied by the score and are in blue tones. Actually, I think I would have liked the whole thing much better had Ritchie just made a long music video telling the story of King Arthur. As I stated before, you definitely get your smartass, witty banter. Particularly during an early scene between Arthur and one of the King's men who is grilling Arthur about his encounter with the earlier mentioned Vikings. It has a modern feel at times in regards to clothing and the way they speak to each other. Overall, it's a decent, fun flick. I'd give it a B-. Check it out if for no other reason than to check out a shirtless Hunnam, which we all can use more of.

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