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Review King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017): Showed promise the first twenty minutes even when it's insane as hell. But then it dwindles into something indescribable!

genre: action, adventure, fantasy







When I saw the trailer in the cinema I could not believe my eyes. A title I had heard about and actually was looking forward to until I saw what they did with it. Even from the trailer I could see it was going to be a train wreck. But what kind of train wreck? Let me try to answer that for you.

Just within two minutes you will be shown some utter madness in the form of super giant elephants who have pyramids and other types of buildings on their backs with soldiers in them. Whether you like it or not that immediately set the tone of what to expect. While again it got confirmed this wasn't going to be the tale about King Arthur I knew I thought why not give it a chance. And surely I was beginning to enjoy myself where Guy Ritchie infused some Snatch and Lock Stock shenanigans in there. While totally out of place I went with it since it was done in the usually appealing stylish Ritchie is famous for, Then I saw David Beckham making an appearance. I wished I was joking. Of all the celebrities Ritchie could have picked he chose an ex football player who can't act even his life depended on it. Was Vinnie Jones not available? Or what about Eric Cantona? It seems Beckham also was in The Man of U.N.C.L.E. I didn't know they were friends but even then it's a poor decision on part of the director to have him in this movie. This should have been a huge warning. But I ignored it and gave the film another chance. How I regret that decision. Because after that appearance everything in the film went completely wrong. Uneven, long and boring are just three of the words that came to mind. One other word that definitely needs to be added is frustrating. Because like I said I knew going in that this was going to be bad. But how bad is something you can only judge after you have seen it. And the thing is that King Arthur: Legend of the Sword does have some moments that were actually enjoyable. Enough to redeem itself? Well, there lies the problem. These moments come far too late and by that time you either asleep or don't care what is happening anymore. All the time while the film was playing I was fiddling with my phone, doing all kinds of things on it and looking up the screen when it appeared something interesting was going on. Usually I was mistaken.

And trust me I really wanted to stay compelled and hooked. Believe it or not I actually want to be proven wrong or tricked by film makers. Naturally if in the end they manage to surprise you in the right way. Ritchie doesn't. It takes him far too long to get to the point the audience already was expecting the minute Arthur got his hands on the sword. But no, Ritchie doesn't want us to give a hero who wants to be a hero. He first needs to be convinced that he is the hero we want and deserve. I am telling you this is all Christopher Nolan's fault. He has started the trend of unwilling and reluctant heroes even when they originally were the opposite. Why? Because it's intellectual and edgy. There is nothing wrong with reluctant heroes as a trope since many great action films consists of them. John McClane is a prime example. Despite him not wanting to be there he does what he has to do without hesitation. Charlie Hunnam as Arthur however has no interest at all. Even after having felt the power of this magical and powerful sword he wants nothing to do with it. Come on! Even in this fantasy that doesn't make any sense. Any sane person would use such a sword to his advantage whether it would be for evil or good. Speaking of Charlie. He is quite charming and likable as Arthur. And the way his character is shown from the beginning is a direct contrast to how he is asked to act later in the film. So this definitely is a consequence of poor writing and even poorer direction. Shame on you Guy Ritchie! I haven't even mentioned the inclusion of coloured people which is the very hip thing to do these days even when they weren't supposed to be present in those times. Yes, I am aware that the legend of King Arthur is fiction and fantasy but it was still set in a time that was real and where coloured people weren't predominantly living there and certainly not as knights or noblemen if they were present. Mind you I did not have problems with this inclusion if they simply had chosen the best ones for the roles they were to portray. Djimon Hounsou is always awesome and he isn't in nearly enough movies I would like him to be featured in. And like always he did a very good job as Bedivere. Unfortunately this is Hollywood people. They did not do it out of the goodness of their hearts. This is manipulation 101 to bring in the big crowds to watch their precious movie. Don't believe me? Well, get this. Merlin is not in this film. One of the most iconic and important characters in the Arthurian legend and he is not in it. Sure he gets mentioned. And he briefly appears as a masked man in a flashback without dialogue or anything else worth wile. Apparently he couldn't be bothered to come himself to aid Arthur liberating the nation from all evil. Instead he sends The Mage, who surprise surprise is a woman. Still think this has nothing to do with political correctness and manipulation? Please!

Jude Law for some reason gets a lot of praise for his role as Vortigern. But I don't understand why exactly. He was decent. Still to say that he was a scene stealer? No way! Eric Bana who is in this briefly did more in those few moments than Law in the entire movie. They should have swapped the roles and have Bana play as Vortigern. Why aren't you in more movies Bana? I hope this means you are coming back.

You know had this been just a super bad film with no redeeming qualities then I would have been less angry and frustrated. But now it's an incredible bad and messy film with a few good moments. Which is infinitely worse because that means somewhere underneath there was a good film and they simply didn't care enough to make that happen. Stay clear from this film. Spare yourself the agony. Or if you really feel the compulsion to watch this then watch it when drunk and with friends. At least then you will be able to distract yourself a little in a fun way.





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