The story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is a story I think most people grow up with. This is not the story we grew up on. This is a modern retelling of a classic story that was met with mixed feelings by many who saw it from what I have gathered. So, does “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” tell a fresh version that is entertaining and fun to watch on the big screen? Let’s dive in and take a look in this review…
There are certain directors whose names, when attached to film, peak my interest. Guy Ritchie is one of those directors. If you tell me Ritchie is making a live action movie about a toucan who always wanted to be a prize fighter but grew up surrounded by nay saying anteaters I’ll still be purchasing a ticket. I enjoy the style in which he films his movies and the way the dialogue is delivered. They aren’t all cinematic masterpieces but I find them entertaining and that’s enough, on occasion. I was not let down in this movie. Even if you weren’t aware going into the theater that Guy Ritchie directed this you will recognize his visual style immediately. It’s right on par for what I expected and I enjoyed the majority of the film.
The overall story takes a bit too long to tell. IMDB has the run time just past 2 hours. There’s no need for this. This film could’ve been told in 90 minutes I feel. The amount of time it takes Arthur (played by Charlie Hunnam) to deal with his personal issues and accept “Excalibur” could’ve been shortened. I didn’t need to see the same scene over and over just shot in a different location. I get it. He’s got issues. Move the story along, please. I’m assuming the extra time was taken to emphasize the importance of his decision once he accepts the sword from the Lady in the Lake and then again when he’s fighting the fire demon who killed his parents. Curiously, this warrior fire demon looked like a cross between “Surtur” the fire demon (in Thor comics) and “Shao Kahn” (from Mortal kombat 2) which was awesome. Also, adding to the curious things in this movie, the three squid women who were also witches? I think I missed this in the mythology. When this squid monster made its first appearance my first thought was, “Is this Ursala from Disney’s “Little Mermaid?’” Then the squid unravelled itself into 3 squid witches, one of which did resemble Ursala a great deal. Then there’s the giant elephants which looked awesome. The different mages wielding different magic. The bats that were so large they were bigger than humans. The venomous snake that was so large it almost destroyed a castle. And finally, the giant rats that looked a lot like the “R.O.U.S. (Rodents Of Unusual Size)” from the movie “Princess Bride.” I don’t know if they intentionally made these rats to look like that as a nod to that movie but I enjoyed all the weird and bizarre this movie threw at me.
Overall, this is not your typical “King Arthur” movie but there’s so much craziness put into this film it worked. As I stated above, it could’ve been shortened. However, the characters are entertaining and each for their own reasons and personality. I also enjoyed the witty dialogue that was present throughout the film. If you enjoy his “Sherlock Holmes” films with Robert Downey Jr you’ll appreciate the banter in this film. Arthur’s dialogue and brain works closely to that of Holmes but in a more street savvy manner. Also, Jude Law gave a performance of insanity, desperation, manipulation and sorrow that elevated my enjoyment of this film. As the villain of this film, his acting made the fantastical story believable enough to be entertaining. His commitment to his character was great and as a movie fan I appreciated it.
“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is in theaters now! I almost missed this in theaters and I’m glad I remembered in time to catch a screening. If you want pure entertainment this is a great Saturday or Sunday afternoon movie. It’s action. It’s magic. It’s betrayal. It’s revenge. It’s Guy Ritchie. I definitely recommend you enjoy this movie in the theater or at home once it’s available on Redbox or VOD. It’s just a fun time at the movies, even if it’s little longer than necessary.