Let’s get one thing clear right from the start… King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a lot of different things. It’s busy. It’s fast-paced. And it’s utterly ridiculous. The one thing it is not, is a good movie.
Director Guy Ritchie’s take on the well-known legend is a very loose one. Arthur (Charlie Hunnam), who grew up in a whorehouse after his parents got killed by his uncle Vortigern (Jude Law), runs a gang and has absolutely no desire to get involved in politics. But it’s not like he’s being given a choice once he pulls Excalibur out of the rock. And Vortigern isn’t exactly a good king. So off he goes with his merry band of brothers, fighting off bad guys and even worse CGI. Yes, bad CGI. And a lot of it. Throughout the movie, we get to see giant elephants, rats, snakes and the Lady of the Lake as a mass of icky tentacles that enfold three women. And it all looks like crap.
Speaking of the giant elephants that pop up in the first minutes of the movie, don’t let it scare you. Things actually improve after the opening scene. Not by a lot, but still. If you get through those first couple of minutes, you have actually already made it through the worst part. So you might as well sit out the whole thing.
The biggest problem with ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ is that Guy Ritchie has given the lead role to his visual antics. It’s pretty much non-stop slow motion action, whirling cameras, elaborate fight scenes, extremely busy editing and the abovementioned bad CGI. You don’t get to care about any of the characters and it feels like the story was treated as this pesky thing that kept getting in the way of another fight scene.
The original plan was to make a series of six movies around Ritchie’s take on the King Arthur saga. I’d be surprised if even the second one becomes a reality.