Synopsis: Stripped of his rightful place as heir to the throne, Arthur rises up through the back alleys of the city. When he pulls Excalibur from the stone, he must step up and take his true place as King.
Review: Having not had the chance to see this film at the cinema. I jumped into it via Amazon Video knowing full well that this would not be the usual King Arthur movie, but something altogether different.
The film cast Arthur as a sort of Robin Hood where he pretty much operates a small gang, which looks after the poor and downtrodden of old Londonian.
All of this time. Arthur seems to not remember his childhood prior to being raised in the brothel from which he works so hard to protect from his uncle’s foot soldiers and tax collectors.
When he takes some money from some Vikings who have an alliance with the King. Arthur draws attention to himself and his friends and must leave the city. It is when he leaves that he is picked up by some soldiers who take him to Camelot where the mythical sword Excalibur rests in waiting for him to pull.
As he manages to wrest the sword from the stone. Arthur gets the attention of his uncle. The current King Vortigern who is played to the hilt of menacing by Jude Law.
From that point on. The film goes into new territory as we see Arthur and his merry band use a series of small very well planned attacks against Vortigern and his kingdom.
This is very much an origin story of how Arthur overthrew the Old Kingdom and won the favor of his people and went on to build Camelot. Which is something that has always been brushed over in broad strokes in past movie adaptations.
If you go into this expecting a really intricate movie about Camelot and all that surrounds it. You’ll be disappointed. The film is basically a high octane popcorn movie but done with the style and humor that you’d expect from any Guy Richie film.
Charlie Hunnam is fantastic fun as Arthur who uses his street smarts for much of the film as he slowly grows into being able to wield the power of the sword.
This version of King Arthur is very modern in regards to the swords and sorcery aspect. The CGI for those parts of the movie is fantastic and while it most likely pisses off many of those that study King Arthur and Camelot, it is a fun film and has a lot of fun with the source material.
The supporting cast includes a few scene stealing performances by Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as the Mage who is working under the guidance of Merlin who doesn’t show up at all in the film. Not that he would need to. His Mage is pretty much a kick ass sorceress.
Also providing some fun is Aidan Gillen as Bill who has the uncanny ability of accurately shooting a long bow for a distance of 175 yards. He also provides a fun foil for some of Arthur’s banter.
The film excels in lots of stylised action set pieces and frantic pacing. I enjoyed the chase through the streets as Arthur and his men escape the King’s Guards after a foiled assassination attempt.
Overall. If you can put aside what you know or what you think you know about Camelot and the story of King Arthur. Then you’ll most likely be able to enjoy this film for what it is. If however, you are expecting a more faithful movie, which sticks close to the various Tomes of the legends that scholars to this day are debating. Then you’d be better off spending your money elsewhere.
While this isn’t Guy Ritchie’s best film. It still manages to be entertaining and fun and is worth a watch if you’re looking for some pure adrenaline fueled escapism.
- Incidental Music10