King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram,
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, Aidan Gillen, Freddie Fox, Craig McGinlay, Tom WuKatie McGrathDavid BeckhamMichael McElhatton
Seen on: 22.5.2017
1-gif-review [alternate take]

When King Uther (Eric Bana) is betrayed by his brother Vortigern (Jude Law), Uther barely manages to get his baby out of the danger zone. The baby grows up to be Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) who has no idea of his family background, but gets a whole lot of street smarts. And then Uther’s sword is uncovered, stuck in a stone. Since it can only be removed by Uther’s son and nobody knows where he is, Vortigern forces all men in the country to give it a try. And nobody is more surprised than Arthur when he is actually able to pull the sword out – a fact that immediately pits him against Vortigern and the powers he commands.

I expected King Arthur to be pretty bad and it was, but it was also a little better than expected. Which is not to say that it’s actually a good film or really worth seeing.

King Arthur is extremely lucky that it has a really fantastic soundtrack that manages to create a lot of tempo and keeps pushing the film, avoiding even a single second of boredom. But that’s pretty much the only thing about the film that’s any good.

Most of the film just falls a little short of the mark. There are a few genuinely funny moments, but most of the jokes are trying way too hard to be really funny. It was an interesting decision to cast Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as the Mage, but generally the film was absolutely horrible with its women. The few women that are in the film at all barely get to speak and most die (the film definitely wins Worst Waste of Katie McGrath since Jurassic World). And on a more personal note: Hunnam is not very much my cup of tea, but okay, I can spend some time looking at him.

The film puts in some pop culture references or what I thought may have been references but I’m not sure how much on purpose they really were or if there was any more meaning to them than “look, I know popculture” – from The Little Mermaid’s Ursula to Rodents of Unusual Size.

All of that makes King Arthur a little too good to be an absolute guilty pleasure, but also too bad to be a good film. It’s stuck in a weird in-between position – and I didn’t get the feeling that this is where it intended to end up. In fact, I didn’t feel like much of the film went like it intended and the result is, simply put, lackluster.

Summarizing: meh. Could be worse, but could be good, too.

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