This week we headed out to see King Arthur: Legend of the Sword the latest film from director Guy Ritchie.
This is the King Arthur legend in a way we hadn’t seen before, it takes the legend but adds Ritchie’s style, so we have a hybrid of his earlier films such as Snatch mixed with his more recent Sherlock Holmes films.
Unlike the 2004 Antoine Fuqua version of the Arthur legend, this is more in line with other more visual films such as 300 but with more of the mythology that you may associate with big budget quest films like Lord of the Rings or the Arthur Legend told in the likes of BBC series Merlin.
The film opens with Mordred (Rob Knighton) and his armies attacking Camelot, only to be stopped by King Uther (Eric Bana) except he has not allowed for his brother, Vortigern (Jude Law) who wants the throne for himself, to the extent that he sacrifices his wife Elsa (Katie McGrath, already associated with the Arthur legend as Morgana in the BBC series) to sea witches in order to raise a demon knight.
The Demon Knight kills Uther with a mighty sword, but before his death, he manages to get his young son Arthur away to safety, and by their blood has made it only possible for him to rightfully to take his throne back, by pulling the mighty sword Excalibur from stone.
We then follow Arthur growing up through various montages until we get to the older version (Charlie Hunnam) and the moment that he pulls the sword from the stone. Vortigern then plans to kill him but plans have been put in place to free Arthur and take back the throne from the evil ruler.
This team include Sir Bedivere (Djimon Hounsou); Goosefat Bill (Aidan Gillen); George (Tom Wu) Rubio (Freddie Fox); Back Lack (Neil Marshall) & his son Blue (Bleu Landau)
These men seeking justice and willing to risk their lives are helped by a woman, known as the Mage (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) send by Merlin himself, to bring some much-needed sorcery to help Arthur on his quest.
And that is about all you need to know, this is just the telling of how Arthur took the throne, and the film tells this in Ritchie’s style, through various action sequences laced with some backstory of the characters.
Arthur must go on a quest to overcome the power possessed by wielding the sword as he struggles to come to terms with using the weapon that killed his father.
The film takes us from one sequence to another that sometimes you feel you are watching a long montage of Arthur’s life. Yet this does not make the film as bad as its box office performance may make you believe.
The action is relentless, all the characters in the whole put in good performances especially Humman as Arthur. Usual Ritchie characters turn up too, Geoff Bell is an excellent evil henchman of Vortigern and also we even see a brief cameo by David Beckham as one of the men overseeing the pulling of the sword from the stone.
Yet for all its good, the film feels too long for the story it’s trying to tell, we are sure this could have been a tighter film had it lost say 15 minutes from its 2 hours run time.
We still enjoyed the film, it is helped along by a rousing score from Daniel Pemberton, the CGI is good and the film is aided by some great 3D if you choose to see the film in that format like we did.
If you like action/adventure or sword and sorcery films, you could do a lot worse than give this film a watch. The film ends with the setting up of the round table as this was a planned franchise, we wait to see if that comes to happen given the performance of this film at the box office.
You can view the trailer here:
Buy or Rent the film from Amazon here:
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