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King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword  : Royal Chaos
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Friday, May 12, 2017
Guy Ritchie
Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Eric Bana, Astrid Berges Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou

When King Arthur’s knights wonder if the round table is a piece of cheese or a dance floor, it’s an indication of how unsound director Guy Ritchie’s sense of humour is. Therefore, the weird mix of the modern and the medieval comes off more like a confused mind at work than like a fun spin on the legend of the Excalibur sword. Obviously set in medieval times with places called Londinium, when Arthur says ‘chop chop’ or King Vertigern uses the eff word like they would in a Hollywood movie today, you break into a WTF.


Quick and dizzy cuts to narrate Arthur’s dodgy young past segues to leisurely scenes where Ritchie succeeds in never letting you sit back and court consistency.


What is consistent is the seriously greycameraworkas if the sky is perpetually overcast which isn’t a new experience as every Harry Potter film and dozens of others have already overserved that brand of mood lighting.


I’d say the same for the great amount of special effects that range from monstrous killer elephants to towers on fire and gross creatures. All of which fall short in the novelty department.


So what’s left is the warmth of familiarity brought on by the old legend of wizard Merlin’s sword stuck in a stone that only the king by birth can pull out.


To reach this, there’sa palace plot where power-lust drives Vortigern to kill the king, his own brother, who in turn tells Arthur, his terrified two-year-old, to run for his life.   


You get a picture of King Vortigern’s oppressive rule when he declares, ‘When people fear you it’s an intoxicating sensation’.  Extreme oppression leads to the growth of a resistance movement and the general readiness for a new king to liberate them. 


Meanwhile, brought up in a brothel, roughened by life but unambitious, it requires Merlin’s band of Mages to urge Arthur to fight the King, his own uncle. Animals and birds too pitch in for what’s right.


Guy Ritchie handles well the father-son and other emotional bonds and the last scenes bring cheer. Charlie Hunnam as Arthur, Jude Law as King Vortigern and Eric Bana as Arthur’s father, the real king, are a pleasure to watch. But David Beckham in a small role is better off chasing a football.


For arevisit to a good old tale that doesn’t have the required magic,King Arthur: The Legend Of The Sword gets a 2.5* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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