Despite the film title, Guy Ritchie’s take on the well-known King Arthur tale is anything but legendary.
In true Ritchie fashion, the film goes above and beyond with its visual effects. Although the setting is far from modern, the film is littered with modern action, modern sounds (quite literally with the excessive and cringe-worthy cockney splurges), modern music, modern CGI – basically, if it’s modern, it’s in there.
As a lover of slow-mo, Ritchie couldn’t resist tampering with the effect in the most unnecessary scenes. I mean it’s not as though sword fights aren’t that hard to keep up with, Ritch. He’s gone for cool over practical – a running theme throughout – and at times forgets the context.
Speaking of cool, there’s some awful acting in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: step up David Beckham. When Beckham is needed in order to increase the figures then it says something about the quality of the film. He might have a trophy cabinet full to the brim but it’s safe to say he won’t be winning any Oscars this year.
The film is full of cockney banter but lacks wit. The humour instead comes from cringey one-liners in forced cockney accents and to tell the truth, by the end it became unbearable.
With all his talent, Ritchie can’t decide what he wants this film to be: an action-packed retelling of a classic tale, a lads-on-tour banter-filled fantasy, or a cockney-masterclass. Seriously, Kung-Fu George (another cockney clanger) teaching King Arthur martial arts is just odd.
Jude Law’s Vortigen is the only worthy watch. For some reason he excels at playing a baddy – must be the posh British accent.
And Charlie Hunman resembles the Artful Dodger more than King Arthur. I think Ritchie has got his British history mixed up.
I’m still not sure why the director chose to centre the film around King Arthur as it lacks so many true Arthur references. It would better serve as just another made-up medieval tale on its own.
The story of King Arthur definitely deserves a retelling but Ritchie clearly fails to do it justice. There’s not a Guinevere in sight and forget Camelot, instead the action takes in Londinium. Yes, that’s London without the ‘on’.
The modern visuals for an old classic definitely has potential but not here.
Ritchie’s King Arthur is in no way chivalrous but is instead portrayed as a lovable rogue, although I think he only managed to get the second part of that description right.
Unfortunately, the only thing that is legendary about this film is the appearance of David Beckham’s right foot, and in a film with a budget as big as this, that’s not something to shout about.