Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey
Director: Guy Ritchie
Running Time: 126 mins
King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword is a British film about the story of Arthur, a man denied his birth right as heir to the throne and sent to live in the poorest parts of the city for his whole life. However, when he manages to pull sword from stone, he is forced to work to reclaim that right, and bring down the man who has usurped his destiny.
This film is awful. Apart from feeling exactly like Transformers set in medieval times, its dull and grey look combined with a juvenile, machismo action formula, all of which screams at you from start to finish while a thin and predictable story plays out beneath, makes for an exceedingly tedious watch, and one that you’ll definitely want to forget as soon as possible.
For me, what’s most interesting about this film is simply how unbelievably stylised it is. The opening sequence, an enormous action sequence filled to the brim with grey CGI set to heavy and loud music, is an atrocious and painful few minutes, easily the very worst part of the film.
Fortunately, things are a little calmer throughout, and save for the film’s finale, which is almost as loud and unbearable as the opening, it’s not always such an enormously hulking movie. That said, the film never relents on its incredibly ugly visual style, dominating the screen with grey and more grey throughout, and not bringing any sense of proper entertainment to the table other than its big masculine biceps that it loves to show off whenever it gets the chance.
In that sense, the film is very comparable to something like 300, masculine, loud, largely monochrome and unbelievably stylised. The big difference between those films, however, is that 300 offers a degree of art and intelligence in the midst of its epic battle sequences, with beautiful fantasy elements that enrich the film’s diversity and imagination, all the while centring on a simple, engaging and entertaining war story.
King Arthur does borrow a lot of fantasy elements from its folklore as well, but to a far smaller degree of success, with the film’s more abstract elements coming off as just completely out of place, rather than an effective adaptation of the legend.
And then comes the story, which is effectively non-existent. Amidst the chaos of the action, directed horribly by Guy Ritchie throughout, it’s nigh-on impossible to get any meat out of the story apart from the fact that Arthur has to get the crown back, even if it’s not something he’s so bothered about.
As a result, there’s very little to get interested in, and with so little character development alongside, worsened by either laughable performances from the likes of Jude Law (and even David Beckham) or tedious turns from the likes of Charlie Hunnam, the film quickly becomes a bore-fest whether it’s screaming at you with enormous action or not.
Overall, I had no fun with King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword. Complete with horrific visuals, a pointless and paper-thin story, awful directing and bad acting across the board, it’s a painful watch from start to finish, and one that I suggest you avoid as much as possible, which is why I’m giving it a 5.8.