Friday, 19 May 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

On general release in the UK from 19 May 2017.

Described as a non-traditional, modern retelling of the Arthurian myth, Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is an epic fantasy, planned as a six-part franchise, as a big-budget rendition of Arthurian legend. This is the first major Arthur film since Antoine Fuqua’s 2004 outing with Clive Owen and Keira Knightley.

Filming for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword included dramatic locations in Snowdonia (Tryfan, Nant Gwynant, near Beddgelert, and Capel Curig) North Wales and the Isle of Skye.

When his father is murdered Vortigern (Jude Law) seizes the crown. Deprived of his birthright without knowing, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) grows up as a streetwise youth raised in a whorehouse on the streets of Londinium. But when he pulls the sword from the stone his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy.

There’s no Merlin here, Ritchie is probably saving the emergence of the wizard for one of planned five sequels, but we do find David Beckham playing a guard named 'Trigger'.

Followers of Arthuriana will  be compelled to see this Guy Ritchie take on the classic legend which has opened with mixed reviews; this a "marmite" film; you'll either love it or hate it.


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword review – medieval banter, slapdash mythology

"Guy Ritchie’s film is low on originality, but might please devotees of his shtick.
The slapdash mythology, with its super-size CGI elephants and slithering octopus-women, is a lazy Lord of the Rings rip-off that barely attempts to convince. A murky video game aesthetic and impatient, maniacally fast cutting do it no favours."

- Simran Hans The Observer 21 May 2017

"Elephants twice the size of a mutant T-Rex rampage in the open air"

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword review: Guy Ritchie's combat-heavy Camelot is a very silly place

"....misshapen and inert, your imagination and memory never come close to being sparked by it. Just sticking with the plot soaks up every ounce of concentration you have.........His acquaintances include such classic Arthurian figures as Chinese George (Tom Wu) and Goose Fat Bill (Aidan Gillen)."

"[The] hero’s journey takes the character in directions the film is never able to make sense of."
"The problem with a King Arthur blockbuster is that it needs sweep and scope, and the attempts at spectacle here feel far outside the director’s comfort zone."

- Robbie Collin The Telegraph 19 May 2017

Vortigern (Jude Law)
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, film review – Epic fail

"Guy Ritchie’s attempt to create a mythic franchise stumbles out of the gate. Having no feel for nor apparent interest in the mystical, Ritchie devolves responsibility for the wonderment to CGI monsters."

"Flailing out of his depth, Ritchie clings to the life raft of what he knows. Substituting caricature for character, he barely scrapes the emotional surface of Arthur’s quest to adapt to the kingly demands of his fate. Raiding the comfort zone pantry for cheap laughs, he finds the cupboard bare."

"By midway, it had occurred that were he hired to make a Christ movie, he’d have Jesus say, “Thirty pieces of silver? Judas, mate, are you pulling my bell-end? You should’a held aht for 90."

"When Arfur tells a woman, “Put your ring back on, honey tits,” you fear Ray Winstone is about to pitch up as Merlin and ask who the daddy might be."

"It is a film as long on tediously stylised fight scenes and portentous electro-folk music as it is short on emotional involvement." 

- Matthew Norman Evening Standard 19 May 2017

Arthur's modern looking wardrobe seems out of place

 Rotten Tomatoes Reviews:

"This latest take on the Arthurian classic is epic in many ways, none of them good."

"The movie becomes a long, unstoppable, barely sufferable explosion of digi-battle scenes, digi-pachyderms, digi-snake-monsters, digi-Armageddon."

"Ritchie's movie is handicapped by its obedience to the rules of modern franchising, putting aside much of the most potent Arthurian lore to instead tell a protracted Round Table origin story."

"In a poor film, the use of David Beckham in a minor but significant role stands out as an own goal. It's a towering misjudgement and a good example of the way filmmaking for Ritchie is really just an extension of socialising."

- Rotten Tomatoes

The sword in the stone

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  1. Seen it, its absolute rubbish. Worse King Arthur film of the lot!

    1. It seems the cinema going public agree with you Frank!

      Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword has been declared a flop after earning only $14.7 million domestically during its opening weekend from an estimated $175 million production budget.
      The film fared slightly better overseas, adding another $29.1 million, but the film is certainly a flop for Warner Bros.

      Ritchie’s second-straight miss follows after The Man From U.N.C.L.E. managed just $45 million domestically.

      Warner Bros started work on their King Arthur project in 2011 with director David Dobkin with a script entitled “Arthur and Lancelot” several years before Ritchie was brought in. In 2014 the studio considered a new tact and approached Guy Ritchie for a movie that would be based on a script sent to Warner by writer Joby Harold that was conceived as the first part in a six-film series set. Originally targeted for a July 2016 release, the film was finally premiered in May 2017, some three years after Ritchie had started work on the project.

      The Kid From The Brothel
      With Ritchie signed on, and Hunnam set to star as Arthur, the script reportedly began to move away from Harold’s original plan and began to incorporate more of the older material from David Dobkin, whose fantasy script for Arthur & Lancelot the studio had already axed.
      Abandoned by his royal parents, Arthur arrives in Londinium floated down the river as an infant, where he was taken in by the women of a brothel and grows up on the streets. This is just the first instance far removed from the Arthurian legend, and certainly not the last.

      Warner Bros executive Jeff Goldstein admitted that ‘the concept didn’t resonate with a broad audience’ and that they had been left disappointed: ‘We had higher hopes.’ It seems the planned 5 follow-on films will be axed.

      Guy Ritchie's King Arthur follows just 13 years after Antoine Fuqua's effort, starring Clive Owen and Keira Knightley, bringing the Arthurian legend to the big screen also flopped.