King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

A largely entertaining film by Guy Ritchie with all his signature directorial flair and screenwriting panache that unfortunately was frequently out of sync with its source material and the story he was trying to do. Everything about the film seemed familiar and there really were not any moments that stood out to make the film fresh and exciting.

However, credit where it is due, Ritchie has an excellent eye and hand for action choreography and it was really the action sequences (and the musical montages) that really helped to lift the film from up the doldrums of its oft-ridiculous and schizophrenic narrative (a product of too many writers/storytellers meddling). It shows a lot when a director has the guts to film a whole sequence in daylight and still manages to capture the kinetic energy and thrill of a chase. The street chase/fight was almost as exhilarating as Steven Spielberg's brilliant one-take in Tintin.

But Ritchie also seemed overwhelmed by both the budget afforded to him, letting the CGI run amok when presented with the opportunity. There were successes like the solid opening scene, but more often the CGI was used to create large set pieces that did not serve to enhance the moment.

Jude Law was spot on as the villain. Law effectively oozed menace but unfortunately his character was as one-dimensional as MCU villain.

Charlie Hunnam on the other hand was a tad miscast. He has the looks and the brawn, but lacked the charisma of a king, even an unwilling one. However, Hunnam and Richie should really get together again and do another film.  There was definite chemistry there with him sprouting Richie's classic quick-edit, rapid fire, flashback narrative.

Djimon Housou was under-utilised and seemed like the token diversity role. Aidan Gillen should stick to being Littlefinger. Astrid Berges-Frisbey needs to stay away from big Hollywood franchises/blockbusters. Eric Bana was solid but too brief. And David Beckham was a hoot.

This legend can be interpreted in many ways, but it was obvious that in this case too many people have plastered their fingerprints all over the story that they wanted to tell. And eventually, the final product was a schizophrenic film that was largely a Guy Ritchie's heist-like film but mixed with a large dose of fantasy and RPG-genre schlock.


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