King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

"Good"

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Review


It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This raucous historical romp spins the iconic legend into something that's relentlessly entertaining, even if it never quite satisfies because it's in such a hurry to set up a sequel. Thankfully, there are some deeper themes along the way that give the actors something to chew on besides the scenery.

In post-Roman Britain, King Uther (Eric Bana) has been killed by his brother Vortigern (Jude Law), who made a deal that involved some very black magic. But Vortigern is haunted by the fact that Uther's infant son Arthur somehow escaped and will someday return to pull the sword Excalibur from the stone and claim his rightful throne. Meanwhile in Londinium, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) has no idea who he really is. Raised in a brothel and trained as a muscled fighter, he has a nice little racket going on. So discovering his identity is a shock. He's immediately spirited away by a mage (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) and some rebels (Djimon Hounsou and Aiden Gillen) who help him plot how to take back his crown.

The entire film is essentially a chase as Vortigern and his chief goon (Peter Ferdinando) pursue Arthur and his growing band of rebels. That all of this is leading to an epic confrontation is no surprise. But Ritchie oddly frames each action sequence as a splintered montage, which means we're only ever watching a series of key images with no momentum or context. Some of these work cleverly, but they begin to wear us out: we know what's happening but we're not able to experience it ourselves. Thankfully the dialogue has a witty present-day snap that brings the characters and the camaraderie between them to vivid life.

More: Watch interviews with the cast

Hunnam makes a superb hero, charismatic and physically imposing, with a jagged sense of humour and an undercurrent of thoughtful reflection as Arthur struggles with the realisation that he's a king instead of a street urchin. The ensemble cast is solid around him, although only Law gets the chance to steal scenes as the swaggering baddie with a tortured soul. Ritchie assembles this in a way that leaves us unsure what might come next, so the film is often exciting to watch. Even if the action is too whizzy for its own good, it has a sense of scale that makes it eye-catching. And the script's exploration of identity and power is actually meaningful. Still, you can't help but think Ritchie should have made this into a TV series instead.

Watch the trailer for King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword



King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 126 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th May 2017

Budget: $102M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Weed Road Pictures, Wigram Productions, Safehouse Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Lionel Wigram, , Joby Harold, Tory Tunnell,

Starring: as Arthur Pendragon, as Mage, as Vortigern, as Sir Bedivere, as King Uther Pendragon, as Goosefat Bill Wilson, as Maggie, as Elsa, as Trigger, as Rubio, Craig McGinlay as Percival, Tom Wu as George, Kingsley Ben-Adir as Wet Stick, as Back Lack, Oliver Zac Barker as Young Arthur, as Mischief John, as Igraine, Millie Brady as Catia, Nicola Wren as Lucy, Wil Coban as Brother Blackleg, Bleu Landau as Blue, Jacqui Ainsley as Lady of the Lake, Georgina Campbell as Kay, Rob Knighton as Mordred, Peter Ferdinando as Earl of Mercia, as Jack's Eye, as Greybeard, James Warren as Mike, Ellie Graham as Maria, Kamil Lemieszewski as Merlin, Michael Hadley as Mage King, Charlie Rawes as Axeman, Kalle Hennie as Viking, Alan Turkington as General 1, Lorraine Bruce as Syren 1, Eline Powell as Syren 2, Hermione Corfield as Syren 3, Peter Guinness as Baron 1, Mark Umbers as Baron 2, as Baron 3, Florence Bell as Woman 1, Anna Brooks Beckman as Woman 2, Cordelia Bugeja as Woman 3, Rebecca Calder as Maid 1, Cristian Lazar as Merchant (uncredited), as Dan Clan Mafia (uncredited), Chris Marchant as Brothel Punter (uncredited), Gintare Beinoraviciute as Noble (uncredited), Alice E. Mayer as Noble Girl (uncredited), Pip Phillips as Prostitute (uncredited), Claira Watson Parr as Noblewoman (uncredited), Ruolan Zhang as Chinese Tea Lady (uncredited), Alphonso Austin as Slave Labourer (uncredited), Raed Abbas as Merchant Qadeer Abdul (uncredited), Rudy Barrow as Londinium Fighter (uncredited), as Brothel Punter (uncredited), Gregor Babic as Mage (uncredited), Daniel Stisen as SPAC / Londinum Fighter (uncredited), Joel Bryant as Londinium Fighter (uncredited), Perry Burke as Blackleg Knight (uncredited), Dacio Caballero as Fighter (uncredited), Randeep Chana as Dan Clan (uncredited), Lucy Chappell as Young Mother (uncredited), Jamie Ben Chambers as Knight (uncredited), Pedro Caxade as Vortigern's Guard (uncredited), Nick Cornwall as Clan Head 1 (uncredited), Tom Coulston as Pendragon Army (uncredited), Karl Farrer as Nobleman (uncredited), Edward Mannering as Londinium Warrior (uncredited), Brendan McCoy as Mage (uncredited), Harry Palmer as Blackleg Knight (uncredited)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.