Speaking about a King Arthur movie is always linked to comparison. The legend has been told in various ways and key figures, plot and ending is widely known among the audience.
As every generation has its impersonated King Arthur, which is Sean Connery for me, Guy Ritchie succeeded in one thing – Reinvention.
While we are told the shortened life story of Arthur, true heir of Englands crown, the audience is pulled into a fast and entertaining story telling style full of magic and over the top characters.
As the plot starts, it is immediately clear that there is more than the characters tell right now. We see King Uther, simply interpreted by Eric Bana, rescuing his son, fighting with the power of Excalibur and starting the story of how Vortigern enslaves the kingdom.
An orphan now, Arthur is adopted by the community of a brothel to start his criminal career in the streets of Londinium. As from now on the story is clear, Arthur is detected as heir, pulls the sword Excalibur from stone and fights for the freedom of his people, the main focus is now on Guy Ritchie.
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The director shows from this moment of Arthur’s rescue the way he goes with us. Entertaining and fast pacing.
As the childhood is shown in a speed collage, still the message of the ties between the main character and his people is transported. Continuing by exploring the plot via flashbacks, comedy oriented dialogues and a coolness to loosen up the legendary heroic part, this movie is different than others of its kind.
Historic or epic movies with long dialogues, deeply suffering characters or intense stretched situations are not part of this movie. It is recognizable, that Mr. Ritchie does not like these aspects in in general, like seeing the whole childhood of the character for over 30 minutes. He gets to the point and pulls strings in parallel to fasten everything up. This is why you end up in an action movie with swords visualized in the individual way we already saw somehow in Sherlock Holmes.
By OK acting from all the main characters and forgettable sidekicks despite for the perfectly cast mage Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, you are taken on an event which never let go from showing the next step, next fight or next revelation. As a lot of CGI complements the concept of the magic based world, King Arthur increases the action and happenings on screen until the third act.
Unfortunately, there we have the big issue. As magic and fighting started in an exaggerated way, everything just gets more and more overdone and ends up in a mediocre boss fight. You just saw a final moment of a video game in cinematic environment.
Speaking a verdict is still easy. This movie is very well and inventively done with a King Arthur story never told that way. Entertaining and sympathetic characters let time fly to avoid boredom despite the small weakness in the end. But you have to like the style. CGI magic and characters jumping ways over the acceptable top besides the missing parts of what a lot of people love about historic or epic pictures affect most of the negative critiques out there.
These people are right, as long as you belong to this audience group. If you are interested in a fast innovative and comedy supported storytelling without much seriousness,happy entertainment to you.
Let us see how the audience splits up in lovers and haters, support or hinder the planned sequels and if we see Guy Ritchie’s interpretation of the noble knights of the round table fight again. I’d raise my sword for a yes.
Source: TheMovonka – imdb