KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD is the latest film from director Guy Ritchie that incorporates breathtaking visuals and a hypnotic score, with surprisingly sub-par acting from the leads. The film boasts an array of A-list actors that include Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy”), Astrid Bergès-Frisbey (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes), Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator) and Eric Bana (Munich).
The film primarily centers on Arthur, an orphaned child, whose birthright was robbed to him at a very young age by the power hungry King Vortigern. However, when he is forced to pull the legendary sword from the stone, Arthur is forced to come face-to-face with his true legacy so that he can put an end to Vortigern’s reign. The film intertwines aspects of brief historical nods, folklore, and fantasy elements resulting in a unique spin on the well-known story.
Look, I know that this film got a lot of hate when it first came out. I can barely even remember it being in theaters, but now having watched it, I don’t know why people hate it so much. I’ll be the first to admit that the acting left a bit to be desired and it’s definitely not the best film out there by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not as horrendous as people are making it out to be.
There’s a lot of information on King Arthur out there and I don’t know all of the history surrounding it so if people had a problem with the historical accuracy of the film, which clearly isn’t historically accurate, then I can’t fault them for that. For me, my issues mostly stemmed around the acting. With such a high caliber roster of talented actors, I had assumed their ability to wow me would be easy. However, for the most part, I was just mildly amused with each of their story arcs. If there was one character that I would have loved to have known more about, it would have been Bill, played by Aidan Gillen (“Game of Thrones”), as I’m a huge fan of his work and I felt his storyline held promise to more interesting facts about him and his background.
There were moments where I found myself absorbed by Jude Law’s performance of Vortigern, but I would have liked to have seen him push his character a bit further to truly encompass the vicious intent that he harbored. I felt like Vortigern was right on the edge of being a truly terrifying villain, but I just needed a bit more. As for Charlie Hunnam, who plays the title role of Arthur, I felt he did the best he could with what he was given. Overall, most of the characters were easily forgettable, which is never something a director never wants in a film such as this. I think director Guy Ritchie took on way more than he could chew which resulted in performances that could have easily been better.
With that said, what I really loved about KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD, was the visuals. This film is without a doubt strikingly beautiful to watch. The visuals are crisp and clean with breathtaking special effects and stylized executions to make the overall viewing experience impressive and noteworthy. This, along with the score composed by Daniel Pemberton, were easily the best parts of the film and I think a lot of people who disliked this film disregarded those aspects. I’m also a huge fan of creature designs and I found myself extremely captivated by the Syren’s that helped Vortigern rise to power. I would definitely watch a film based off of those characters and I wish there had been a bit more focus on them.
Overall, KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD is the perfect popcorn flick that will entertain you but not require you to have to think to much. There is a special place for movies such as this and I don’t think there is anything wrong with enjoying a film for what it is, even if it does lack a bit of substance. KING ARTHUR may not be re-written history but at least it has some entertaining moment, remarkable visuals, a fascinating folkore, an enchanting yet mysterious mage, giant snakes, deadly sirens, and a corrupt King – what more could you ask for?
KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD is now available to own on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.