By Cynthia Ayala
“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.”
Another film about King Arthur. Tales of his majesty and the realm of magic and swordsmanship have been adapted in many ways, from the big screen to the small screen. There hasn’t been an accurate adaptation of the tale since Excalibur and the Merlin miniseries, but pivotal characters weren’t left behind, weren’t forgotten in the telling of the stories. This film seems to have forgotten all about Merlin, Morgan Le Fay and Mordred and the pivotal parts they played in shaping up the Arthurian legend.
Instead, this film forgoes most of that to tell the story of King Arthur, through treachery, who is raised on the streets, my prostitutes. It’s not a bad beginning and does shape up Arthur to be this tough woman-protecting man, a man with a semblance of honor. But Arthur, he doesn’t really develop through the film. He goes through a lot but until the end, the very end, his character doesn’t grow at all. He remains a cocky smartass. Now, as charming as that may be at times, to watch it through the entire film is tiresome. The same could be said for the entire film. None of the characters really change except maybe one who ends up dying. That being said that doesn’t mean the film was fill of bad acting. Charlie Hunnam was perfect for the part and in any rendition of the tale, regardless of what story they decided to put on the screen, he would have fit it and made it his own and would have given an amazing performance regardless of the story and the direction of the story. However, there was Astrid Bergès-Frisbey who wasn’t enticing at all. The way she delivered her lines was very monotonous, very emotionless. She didn’t make watching her very captivating at all.
As far as the story went, there were parts that were too long and unnecessary. Anytime there was dialogue of Hunnam being a smart ass, while it started out funny, it stopped being funny after a while to the point where it was like “come on, get on with the story already.” Then there was the entire sequence of events in the dark lands that made no sense. They are talking about how he was supposed to find himself there, humble himself, but the entire sequence of events was devoted to special effects and bigger than life monsters. It was not essential to the story at all. Then there were the scenes that were so heavily reliant of CGI that was reminiscent of Beowulf. And the ending, now that was just something out of a video game. Personally, I would have rather seen Jude Law wielding his magic and sword fighting Charlie Hunnam rather than the CGI contraption that was given to audiences.
I will say this though, as mediocre ass this film was, the sea witches were a cool element. And the armour was not only cool looking but practical as well. (★★☆☆ | C)
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Based on Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures