Saturday, May 27, 2017

Movie Review … King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword

The legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table at Camelot has been enduring.  Dozens of books and films have been created from a story continually capturing people’s imaginations.  It’s a tale that can be everything from romance, action to high drama.  Director Guy Ritchie goes for the middle option with his take on the King Arthur mythology.  Unfortunately it’s not especially thrilling with the elements making the tale so enduring apparently missing in the halls of Camelot.

Running the back streets of Londinium with his crew, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) thinks life can’t throw him anymore surprises.  Discovering a stone with a sword called Excalibur stuck inside, his existence is changed forever.  Drawing it from its stony confines, Arthur becomes embodied with great powers.  Helped by the enigmatic Guinevere (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), Arthur learns to master his abilities and discovers his royal lineage.  Forced to go up against evil tyrant Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur deals with past tragedies while reclaiming the crown enabling him to become King. 

‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ fails due to its casting. That doesn’t mean the actors but its director. Fitting the right director for the material is crucial in allowing a movie to achieve success.  Sadly Guy Ritchie is completely mis-cast as its helmer.  Utilising his usual fast-editing tricks and filming the story like one of his typical English gangster movies, Richie fails to delve into the tale’s majesty and splendour.  For such a rich background as the King Arthur story, Richie uses little of it with minuscule flair gone into crafting anything wondrous.

Whilst the ‘grim and gritty’ version of the King Arthur legend has been done before, ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ is the worst of them.  Lifeless with bored-looking performances, watching becomes a chore.  Although the infrequent action scenes are technically well handled, they are done with zero passion or grasp of the character’s motivations.  The CGI is spectacular as expected but that means nothing in a movie failing to capture the imagination or add anything new.

‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ is dull, uninspired and ultimately pointless.  Supposedly the first film of a franchise, this mis-step ensures that won’t happen. It proves the point that not respecting the source material can backfire and hopefully a better take on the wonderful Arthurian legend is made soon to erase memories of this poorly realised adaptation.

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  3

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.



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