King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

In Theatres: 
May 12, 2017
Running Time: 
126 minutes

I knew nothing about King Arthur: Legend of the Sword beforehand so when I saw the first trailer for the film, I thought to myself, “This looks exactly like a Guy Richie movie.” Then the words “From Director Guy Richie” popped up on the screen, and it all made complete sense. His style is instantly recognizable, from the hilarious banter between characters to the quick cut montages that are spread throughout his films. It’s a style that suits Medieval London quite well.


Surprisingly it’s been quite a while since we last had a film adaptation of the King Arthur legend. 2004’s King Arthur in fact. The story remains mostly the same. A young Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) grows up in a brothel in Londinium not knowing he is the son of the once King Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) who was slain and overthrown by his brother, Vortigern (Jude Law). Upon his death, his magical sword Excalibur was cast into stone. Rumor has it that the person who pulls Excalibur is the rightful king and will lead the rebellion against Vortigern. Arthur, having freed the sword from the stone, must now come to terms with his destiny and take back his rightful crown.


If you’re a fan of Guy Richie’s films then it’s likely you’ll enjoy King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. In fact, the film actually works best when it most adheres to his aesthetic. There’s a montage of Arthur growing up in the brothel that is edited perfectly. His story to the king’s troops of what he did one morning is brilliantly hilarious. The banter between Arthur and his comrades before a mission is wonderful. When Guy Richie does his thing right, it’s a thing of magic.


The action scenes are particularly spectacular. Whenever Arthur wields Excalibur with both hands, everything around him moves in slow motion, and he is able to decimate entire armies of foes at once. The special effects are reminiscent of video games and the action sequences are very 300-esque. For those of you who are into that sort of action, like myself, it’s very enjoyable to watch.


That being said, the story could have definitely used some work. The Legend of the Sword is apparently the first of many planned films so it barely touches on the legend of King Arthur. Merlin maybe has a couple of seconds of screen time, and Lancelot and Guinevere are nowhere to be found. It tells a full story, but you can see that some things are definitely missing.


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a fun action film whose campiness mirrors the legend it’s based on. The film is at its best when it fully embraces Guy Richie’s style, and while it does have some lulls here and there, it’ll leave you satisfied and entertained. It’s the definition of a summer blockbuster; nothing more, nothing less.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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