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Thursday, May 11, 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

Video Review (Non-Spoiler)

The Trailer:

The Good:
One thing that I found interesting about this film was how it wasn't entirely about King Arthur himself. While Arthur is obviously a main character in the film, he's almost like a co-star to the sword itself. It was nice to see more of the origin of the sword, and the literal power that it possessed. If you're a fan of anime cartoons, then you will easily see the similarities this movie adapts when it comes to the power the sword gives to the wielder.

Charlie Hunnam was clearly in a role that catered to a lot of his strengths. He could be witty, charming, inspirational and physical in the action scenes. Eric Bana was a personal favorite of mine. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but I just felt he played his part so well that he's probably one of the few characters you may actually connect with despite his smaller role.

Another aspect of the film that I enjoyed was the notion of sacrifice. It was a theme that gets played in a number of ways with various characters. In particular, I loved how it was used with Jude Law's character. It added a level of depth to his character that makes him a more complex villain in the movie.

The Bad:
The movie has a lot of long and slow pacing parts. The film is about 2hrs and 6mins but it really felt like 2.5 hrs. The dialogue and banter contributes to this greatly. Furthermore, the story in itself is rather predictable. While this is a fresher and probably more original take on the story of King Arthur, you can see the intentional twist and turns coming from a mile away.

I can't help but to think that maybe the combination of the thicker English accents and dialogue were a bit of an issue. There's a lot of dialogue used to tell the story (or hypothetical situations) and it can maybe get a little confusing mixed with the constant camera visuals switching back and forth.

When you think of King Arthur and the sword Excalibur the one other character that typically gets associated is Merlin the wizard. I was really disappointed in the fact that they only mentioned him by name and briefly showed him on screen. It would almost be as if one were to watch the Lord of the Rings and only hear mentions of a wizard named Gandalf. I think that was a missed opportunity to highlight one of the central characters to the legendary story.

When it came to Jude Law's character, he felt like one of the bigger disappointments. His character felt poorly developed despite the fact that his character had a lot of potential to be really deep. We don't get to necessarily see what motivates him to do the things that he does outside of just a generic reason like "I want power" or something to that degree. It's hard to really tell why he chooses to do the things that he does, and to some degree you just stop caring and go along with it.

Lastly the most notable issue with the film is the blurry CGI action scenes. Similar to my criticisms in Man of Steel, a lot of the fast paced action scenes were really blurry to make out. To the film's credit, they did provide some slow motion sequences to help you follow the action, but overall it was poorly depicted. In so many instances you'll feel like you've gone from watching a movie to a video game. (You may even notice the Mortal Kombat similarity with the final battle.)

The Reason:
This film had a lot of potential to be much better than it was. As an admirer of the King Arthur tale, I really wanted to like this movie. I don't terribly dislike it. It just feels like it'll be forgettable in about a week or so. I completely disagree with the reviews who claim that this movie is "trash" because we've seen far worse movies than this.

This is a Guy Ritchie film. He's the same guy that brought you the Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey Jr. (Which I loved) and Man from U.N.C.L.E. (which was okay). He's got a very distinct style to his movies. As with any distinctive art, you will either hate it or love it. For me, this movie wasn't one of his strongest films.

While King Arthur: Legend of the Sword may not be something you have to rush to the movie theaters to see, I can still see some appeal in it. If you're a Charlie Hunnam fan, then this will be watchable for you. Given the number of Game of Thrones characters in the film this movie felt like Game of Thrones + Assassin's Creed. You can most definitely wait on seeing this film.

The Rating: 6/10

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My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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