King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

"King Arthur: Legend of the Sword", is a like a massive pile up on a highway. It's so horrible and grisly, but something keeps our eyes glued to the carnage. Many aspects are horrifying, the acting, visuals, and sounds will leave even the most weathered movie lover inching towards the theater's exit. Perhaps fans of series such as "The Fast and the Furious" and the never ending stream of Marvel films will be entertained, but any audience member craving basic character development and a plot will leave disappointed. 

After his father is murdered in front of him, a child Arthur is raised in the city and quickly learns the ins and outs of crime. As he grows older, Arthur becomes a local legend for his ability to talk or fight his way out of perilous situations, garnering the attention of his evil uncle, King Vortigern. Arthur and all the other men his age are gathered up to attempt to pull the Excalibur sword from its resting place in the stone, Arthur succeeds and realizes it is his destiny to lead an army against his uncle and reclaim the throne once held by his father. 

Guy Ritchie, famed for his work on the two very successful "Sherlock Holmes" films, was given the directorial reigns of this new and bold endeavor, making a King Arthur film. Perhaps Ritchie believed his wave of success could compensate for a good script and that his choice of actors could fill the elephant sized holes in the plot of his own movie, but he was sorely mistaken.  

Despite names like Jude Law and Charlie Hunnam the acting still seemed poor, capitalized by a laughably bad performance by Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, who attempted to portray the Mage character. At certain points it seemed as if  Bergès-Frisbey was reciting lines she had memorized seconds before, with as much emotion as could be expected from a high school play. 

While terrible, her performance was barely better than that of twice Academy Award nominated actor Jude Law. Law, who recently completed the acclaimed series, "The Young Pope", clearly phoned in his role as villain King Vortigern. Showing as much passion as could be expected from a guest appearance on a ABC sitcom, Law yells, cries, and grimaces just enough to earn him his paycheck.

The pacing of "Legend of the Sword" attempts to follow that of such films as Academy Award winning "Mad Max", with quick transitions and a tempo that dares the audience to keep up. The result matches the other aspects of this film, confusing and exhausting. The battle sequences are CGI bloodbaths that terrorize the eyes and ears, with armies of countless soldiers battling on the green screen.

There are a few saving graces to be gleaned from this film. The score, composed by Daniel Pemberton, is light and original. Djimon Hounsou does a wonderful job portraying Sir Bedivere, and several other supporting actors and actresses bolster the unfortunate performances of the leads. Charlie Hunnam as King Arthur does a respectable job and succeeds at solidifying himself as a lead actor. 

All in all, "King Arthur, Legend of the Sword" is a fun but empty story that makes many wish they had spent the price of admission elsewhere. This film may end up a total financial failure as well, only recently paying off it's monstrous $175  million dollar budget. Ultimately this film will join other big budget failures that will be lost in history forever.

At a Glance
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Starring:  Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Jude Law, Charlie Hunnam, Djimon Hounsou.
Budget:$175 Million
Released: May 12, 2017