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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.