The legendary story of King Arthur gets a rock n roll rendition, compliments of director Guy Ritchie. In King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Charlie Hunnam is a rough and rugged Arthur raised in the back alleys of his city, who wants nothing to do with becoming king.
The film opens with a monumental battle taking place between man and magician. A young Arthur is soon chased away from the kingdom and his birthright in order to protect him from nefarious forces. Now raised in a brothel, he becomes a hustler, fighter, and a thief, until destiny calls him back to his throne and a mysterious sword called Excalibur.
This is a fast paced epic that immediately throws us into a fantastic world of monsters, kings, and magic. The Arthurian legend gets a Guy Ritchie makeover and for the most part it actually works. Ritchie imposes his signature style of tough talking snappy dialogue, quick pacing, and cutaways to narrated past and future events. This mode of storytelling does get tedious in moments but it does add a bit of flare and excitement to a normally paint by numbers story arc. The film also excels when it comes to its action and supernatural sequences. When Arthur really lets loose with Excalibur, they are some of the most visually spectacular moments of the film.
Despite low critic ratings and a weak opening box office, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is not a bad film. It’s a great experimentation of using modern cinematic style with a conventional genre. There are moments of greatness in this film that if pushed further would have put this on a Lord of the Rings level. Still, this film is a popcorn eating good time and an entertaining cinematic adventure worth watching.