An origin story of sorts for King Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) and his Knights of the Round Table. Witness his fall into peasantry and eventual rise to power as he claims his rightful place as the King of England, overthrowing his uncle Vortigern (Jude Law) in the process and mastering Excalibur, the magic sword of legend.
So this film has gotten a lot of hate from critics, opening close to other film franchise giants like Alien: Covenant, GOTG Vol. 2 and Wonder Woman soon to come. I feel like this has all culminated in it flopping at the box office and it just creates a vicious cycle but this by no means indicates that it is a bad film. That being said, it is not a fantastic film, it is just simply okay, a serviceable medieval fantasy film which one should not take too seriously.
The main reason that I felt hope for this film comes in the form of its director, Guy Ritchie as I rather enjoy his style of film-making and he really comes on very strong here. The film is very fast-paced and there are quite a few of that unique Guy Ritchie witty-banter-while-cutting-to-other-scenes-to-efficiently-tell-a-story sequences, which I have always enjoyed. There were, however, 2 rather major parts of Arthur’s journey that were kind of rushed over in the form of these long montage sequences, each lasting about maybe about 2-3 minutes? I am not saying they were bad, in fact, I think they are actually very well done and does convey to us quite effectively the gist of what we need to know during these 2 parts. However, the fact is that it just highlights a glaring problem with this film, it feels like a much longer film crammed into an inadequate commercial span of 2 hours. One of the montage sequences was rather interesting and I felt like it could have been more fleshed out.
The story of this film focuses heavily on the protagonist and antagonist, namely Arthur and Vortigern. Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law both did a stellar job and outshines the rest of the cast. However, it is not because they are doing a bad job, rather it’s due to the way the story is written and the rest of the characters feel like they are really just there to prop up and support the two main leads so they really come off as forgettable. Throughout the film, there is one character in particular who really makes some illogical choices and it is all in service of a particular scene which I suppose the scriptwriters really wanted to happen. Also, a major story arc for Arthur is him learning to accept his “destiny” and the responsibility that comes with it but I felt that the way he came around to it was too sudden but you know the plot has to keep on chugging so…meh.
The soundtrack for this film is an absolute killer and especially the main theme which plays in a lot of the action scenes. Speaking of which, the action scenes are okay but I feel like some of them get a bit too messy and CGI-ish. Also, Excalibur is way too OP.
All in all, it’s not a perfect film. It has various flaws which I think has a lot to do with the script itself. Lax your standards a bit, do not expect this film to make complete sense and just go in for a relaxed, fun action fantasy film. It is in no way deserves the amount of flak it has been getting from critics.