KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD:
THERE AIN’T NO LEGEND OR KING HERE!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: * out of 4
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
Charlie Hunnam takes sword in hand in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
READER ADVISORY: The following review contains some risqué humor and language
Director, Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Sherlock Holmes) tackles the famous Knights of the Roundtable story of King Arthur, the man who successfully removed the sword in the stone and became a legend in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. A unique failure and an unfortunate misfire for Ritchie as a director, There, Review’s Over!
Nah, I wouldn’t do that to you but WOW is this movie bad? The movie takes this classic story that’s very interesting and thrilling and reduces it down to the most generic and laughably bad fantasy film you could find (Seriously, does a fantasy movie have to be J.R.R. Tolkien to be good these days?).
This movie is far from being a king but I can definitely name it the Dungeons & Dragons of the 2010s. With a ludicrous plot that doesn’t make sense, poorly written characters with even worse performances by most of the cast, a chaotic overuse of CGI, and some of the worst pacing and editing I’ve ever seen in a movie…and yet it’s a delightful turd of unintentional laughter.
The film stars Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim, The Lost City of Z) as King Arthur on his journey from the streets of Londinium to claiming the throne. After his father was murdered when he was still a child, his scheming uncle Vortigern (Jude Law-The Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain, Sherlock Holmes) seizes the crown and robs Arthur of his birthright without him knowing.
Because of that Arthur grows up in the back alleys of London as an ordinary man but once he pulls the sword out of the stone his life changes forever and must find his true destiny with the help of an enigmatic woman named The Mage (Astrid Berges-Frisbey-Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, I Origins, Alaska). Arthur must learn to master Excalibur, fight his traumatic past, and unite the people to battle his uncle and claim his place as king.
The film also stars Djimon Hounsou (How to Train Your Dragon 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Furious 7) as Sir Bedivere, Aidan Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises, Maze Runner 2 and 3, Sing Street) as Goosefat Bill Wilson, Eric Bana (Hulk, Troy, Star Trek) as Uther Pendragon, Tom Wu (Shanghai Knights, Batman Begins, Skyfall) as George, Freddie Fox (The Riot Club, Pride, Victor Frankenstein) as Rubio, Mikael Persbrant (The Hobbit 2 and 3) as Kjartan, Lorraine Bruce (Dark Corners, Eden Lake, The Scouting Book for Boys) as Syrena, Hermione Corfield (Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation, Mr. Holmes, XXX: Return of Xander Cage) as Syren, Annabelle Wallis (The Tudors, Pan Am, X-Men: First Class) as Maid Maggie, Katie McGrath (Merlin, Jurassic World, Supergirl) as Elsa (No, not the one from Frozen!), model, Poppy Delevingne as Igraine, Kingsley Ben-Adir (Vera, Midsomer Murders, Trespass Against Us) as Wetstick, Neil Maskell (Basic Instinct 2, Atonement, Utopia) as Backlack, Millie Brady (Legend, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Last Kingdom) as Princess Catia, footballer, David Beckham as Trigger, and Michael McElhatton (Zen, Game of Thrones, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag) as Jack’s Eye.
Overall, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is one of those special kinds of bad movies that you watch with your friends, have a few drinks, smoke a little weed, and laugh your ass off at how terrible it is. I cannot see anyone possibly defending this as a good movie but I can perfectly understand enjoying it because of how bad it is, at least that’s what I got out of it.
The story is ridiculous and hard to follow, the characters are developed poorly, and most of the performances are awful but the saving grace of entertaining failure is Jude Law in one of the most spectacular failed performances I’ve seen in a while. I love Jude Law as an actor but here his performance comes off as pure lunacy and it’s funny to watch him go so over-the-top and not try to the point where he becomes the highlight of the entire film, imagine Jeremy Irons from Dungeons & Dragons with a splash of Eddie Redmayne madness from Jupiter Ascending.
Besides hilarious overacting the film also delivers some hilarious underacting with Astrid Berges-Frisbey’s performance as The Mage. Nothing against the actress though I haven’t seen in her in that many films aside from Pirates of the Caribbean, her performance as The Mage is so half-ass and the accent she gives the character makes me burst into laughter every time she speaks, give her a Razzie because she’s like Tommy Wiseau with a Snatch *Obligatory Guy Ritchie Joke!*.
The editing of this film is beyond terrible and some of the worst I’ve ever seen, constant jump cuts that feel very unnecessary and it looks more like you’re watching a compilation of trailers for the movie rather than the movie itself. It’s terribly stitched together and really needed a better crew, not to mention the timing of the opening credits is incredibly bad and I laughed the moment the title showed up…I’ll just leave it at that.
Seriously what happened to this movie? A lot of talented people behind it and it somehow bombed big time. This actually could have been a much more fun movie if it wasn’t called King Arthur, Hell, the Jerry Bruckheimer produced movie was a more faithful telling of the King Arthur story, EVEN SONIC & THE BLACK KNIGHT DID A BETTER JOB WITH THE STORY, YES, I WENT THERE!
If you’re looking for a so bad it’s good movie to watch with your pals one night, give King Arthur: Legend of the Sword a watch, you shouldn’t be disappointed. However if you’re not one of those people who like to make fun of movies and try to take films seriously, don’t even try, go see Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 or The Lost City of Z instead, at least you’re promised a movie.