Opening off the critical success of ‘The Lost City of Z’ could leading man Charlie Hunnam expect a similar response to ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’? I’d have thought this folklore fantasy had a better chance of being a commercial success however after poor box office results in America that is now looking unlikely. Would the power of Excalibur at least be enough to keep audiences entertained though?
In my case I’d have to say no. I found the narrative to be largely boring and rather dull. Quite a feat really when you take note of all the fantasy included here. These elements were often completely bonkers and, for me at least, became quite off putting. They stopped me from really engaging with the story and they were partly to blame for the lack of flow that the film had. Scenes felt disjointed and randomly pieced together the whole way up until the finale. There are some scenes that were enjoyable in isolation, usually showcasing the chemistry of Arthur’s gang. However the strength of this comradery is never fully realised therefore restricting the film from reaching it’s full potential. Hunnam does try his best though, he’s a likeable lead with plenty of charisma. He also constantly looks badass and there’s plenty of token topless shots for those that way inclined. The rest of the cast are all fine, they fulfill their roles adequately but could have become something more with some narrative adjustments.
Whilst the story generally failed to keep me entertained the same cannot be said of the tremendous score. Previous collaborator of Guy Ritchie’s, Daniel Pemberton, does a fantastic job of injecting fun, suspense and energy right into the heart of this film. Without his musical creations to accompany the action I’d have been willing Arthur to fall on his sword just to get things over and done with. The said action that the score brings to life is itself a rather mixed bag. Some sequences are entertaining, a chase through ‘Londonium’ mid film no doubt being the highlight. However, too many of the sequences weren’t appealing to watch. Ritchie employs his slow-motion techniques that we’re familiar with from his ‘Sherlock Holmes’ films here once more. Whilst they had purpose in the detective films here they hold the film back and damage the pace. Furthermore, the finale is nothing more than a generic CGI battle with effects that can’t rival other similar blockbuster endings.
You’ll find yourself wishing you were watching Disney classic ‘The Sword in the Stone’ for the most part. The crazy fantasy elements, monotonous storyline, average action and at times poor effects really damage the so called legend of ‘King Arthur’. However, thanks to Hunnam’s charismatic performance, some quality scenes hidden throughout the screenplay and a pulse pounding score it does just about enough to keep you in your seat. So set neither to be a critical nor commercial success, there’s little chance of this becoming king of blockbuster season.
Rating – 4/10
Question: What’s your favourite Guy Ritchie film?
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