The legend of King Arthur and his brave knights have been retold countless times on the big screen over the years. Now, Guy Ritchie has delivered his take on the story with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Starring Charlie Hunnam as the titular character, Ritchie’s take is special effects laden spectacle filled with swords, sorcery and the director’s dry signature humour.
The Story King Arthur: Legend of the Sword chronicles the rise of Arthur, where he rises from the streets of Londinium to the throne of England. The film kicks off in grand fashion with a spectacular battle that Arthur’s father, Uther helps thwart with the help of the magical sword Excalibur. However dark forces soon appear, ultimately shifting the power of the crown to Arthur’s power mad uncle, Vortigern. Forced to flee, the young lad grows up the hard way on the streets, but soon has to face his destiny as the rightful heir to the throne once he pulls sword from stone.
What Worked In typical Ritchie fashion, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword boasts all the hallmarks of the director. From innovative back story delivery to witty dialogue and memorable characters, this sword and sorcery epic is far removed from what we’ve come to see in the past.
What Didn’t There’s an awful lot of special effects for a Guy Ritchie movie; in fact it’s the most we’ve seen thus far. Nevertheless despite the overblown special effects pieces (which could be the studio’s insistence), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword still manages to move on quite nicely with minimal pace interruptions. It also proves that the British director can manage injecting his own signature despite the extensive scenes that unfold on the big screen.
Plus Points Hunnam’s role as Arthur as well as the film’s supporting cast. Ritchie has often relied on heavy character development in his movies and Legend of the Sword is certainly in no short supply of that welcome ingredient. It’s also got good humour.
Minus Points The special effects laden set pieces do come off like a video game and the whole premise of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword seems more like a medieval superhero movie than a regular sword and sorcery film.
Conclusion Despite some shortcomings especially in the way the legend of Arthur is portrayed and the extensive use of effects for its magical scenes and set pieces, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a fun watch. Running long past the two hour mark, the action and story that unfolds on screen thankfully does not risk being too long in the tooth. It’s a typical fun, adventurous and entertaining film that fits the mould of a summer blockbuster rather nicely.