Monday, 22 May 2017

Film Review: King Arthur--Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
22 May 2017
126 mins
Guy Ritchie (Director)
Charlie Hunnum, Jude Law

Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy - whether he likes it or not. (IMDB Synopsis)

I contemplated for quite a while whether to award this film three and a half or four stars. In the end I've settled on four, purely on the strength of Jude Law's performance. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword has a lot going for it overall. If you don't mind the plot taking liberties with the source material, it is an enjoying fantasy-action flick. However, it could have been better with a few small changes/omissions. Clearly Ritchie is trying to recapture that Sherlock Holmes style. It worked in those two films; in this one, it fails. Rather than trying to inject humour with frequent, pointless one-liners, the movie would have fared better as a serious fantasy piece. Also, while I enjoyed the stylised, slow-mo fight scenes, some of the other editing was a little too choppy.

Acting-wise, Hunnum does a fine job (despite a grating accent) and gets good support from his troupe of followers. David Beckham's cameo offers a perfect demonstration of bad acting with which to contrast the rest and is, blissfully, only a single scene. The jewel of the piece is Jude Law. In fact, I wish we could have seen more of him. I loved that he wasn't a token villain--evil for evil's sake--but rather showed reluctance and even anguish over the things he had to do to maintain his hold and increase his power. Given that, it was a shame we were informed that his motive was simple jealousy, as I felt the reasons could have been shown as far more complicated than that had we had more time to explore his psyche. But then, I often am drawn more to the villains than the heroes. So frequently, they hold greater interest.

In conclusion, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a tad hammy and clunky at times but still has plenty to offer as a fantasy-adventure tale and is worth a viewing, if for nothing more than seeing Jude Law as Vortigern.

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