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.
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Ritchie's auteurism is admirable. With many directors aspiring to become anonymous journeymen, there to safeguard the 'brand', here is a work suffused with its filmmaker's creative DNA. This is Arthurian myth by way of Lock, Stock; where the Knights become a gang of tooled-up lads "havin' it large my son!" It doesn't really work, descending into generic set pieces & poor CGI, but at least it has a sense of character.
There's certainly something to the film's Frazetta and Tolkien-channeling prologue, and Guy Ritchie's canny way of breezily editing through exposition. But this "King Arthur" is eventually sunk by the dreary slog of its second half, and some of Warner Brothers' least convincing CGI - when Arthur finally deploys Excalibur, it should inspire awe, not remind viewers of the 'Burly Brawl' from "The Matrix Reloaded."
I didn't love this, but I didn't hate it. I expected a disaster from all the hip, modern aesthetics and fast-paced modern dialogue – it was rather endearing. I started to expect more by the end, and was disappointed Ritchie didn't push the genre and era-bending further. Non-essential entertainment. Biggest cringe - the bird's eye view during battle sequences was the worst. It just looks like a bad iPhone game.
"Hey, let's take the King Arthur legend and give it a modern gloss adding some 'Game of Thrones' and some 'Lord of the Rings' and make it real hip for the kids....they'll love it" Simply NO. But hey I saw the trailer I should have known better too.
A typical Guy Ritchie movie: full of flair and style, some outstanding sequences, but an uneven arc and baffling use of creative license to reinforce it as a hit-and-miss affair. The fantasy approach to the legend makes sense, but at times, trivialises compelling characterisation. Jude Law is aiming for something bigger than the script allows - his acting credentials deserves material with more substance than style.
Picture this: expectations are as low as they can be, you don't want to see this film, you're dragged into it, you complain on the drive to theatre, and you actually get mad when you have to shell out the price of admission... you complain so much that eventually you just have to sit and watch it. Then you remember all the reasons that turned Ritchie into a legend. Yeah, it's a bad film, but it's still a Ritchie film
Surprisingly not ABSOLUTELY dreadful. It nonetheless is the derivative lovechild of Hamlet + Game of Thrones + 300 - if you've seen all of the above, you've basically seen this (not to mention the opening sequence which was artfully lifted from the final battle sequence in LotR: RotK). Could have definitely used more campy villanaous Law, though.