“As your power increases, so do to the forces that will oppose you. The born king will come. It is inevitable.”
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law, Eric Bana
Synopsis: The classic tale of Arthur (Charlie Hunnam), a nation’s defender against the tyrannical King Vortigern (Jude Law)….but this time, with added geezers.
There’s not much here that’s new to director Guy Ritchie’s oeuvre; there’s the excessively hyperactive editing, banter flying left, right and centre, and all of the cock-er-neys that Londinium can churn out. None of which is particularly in keeping with the high fantasy backdrop, which despite being untrodden ground for the director, is largely impressive. This is his biggest budget (and largest scale) film to date. And it shows, with spectacular beasts, magic and costumes. And whilst those elements are successful, they don’t quite align as nicely with his usual stylistic crutches as you’d hope. Which isn’t to say that none of it lands – the humour works well enough, and it’s not lacking in style – it’s just that at times it feels that the style comes at the expense of substance.
Fortunately, the hugely charming Charlie Hunnam shines as the hero of the piece, Law is on deliciously nefarious form, and between the two of them they provide enough charisma to pull Arthur through its humdrum, messy middle, which includes a bizarrely distracting David Beckham cameo.
As they say, a leopard can’t change its spots. King Arthur is a Guy Ritchie film through and through, in all the best ways, and all the worst. It plays fast and loose with the legendary tale and ends up hit and miss as a result.
Rating (out of 5):