King Arthur movie director: Guy Ritchie
King Arthur movie cast: David Beckham, Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana
King Arthur movie rating: 1.5 stars
THE legend of Arthur is born as he pulls the Excalibur sword out of the stone, and all you may be wondering about is whether that is David Beckham in the background trying to look and sound ugly as the bad king’s bad soldier. Well, he is. And well, that is the kind of film King Arthur is, trying to reinvent a 5th-6th century mythical hero while trying hard to be very cool, very 21st-century, very Guy Ritchie.
People are little more than CGI-created multitudes, years are little more than camera in fast motion, and Chinese are little more than unageing kung-fu fighters, in Arthur’s (Hunnam) race to his throne here. A lot of heads roll down the gutter, a lot of eyes get rolled by the Mage (an ever-sad Berges-Frisbey, butchering an English accent) summoning the magic to help Arthur, a lot of big animals wander in and out, some Christian mythology gets mixed in, and a lot of swords are swished about, often to no obvious avail.
Women, unless they have powers like Mage, only get raped, beaten up, jailed or killed. Men make fun of their feminity with ease, and get away because well, you know, you are not to take any of this seriously.
Sometimes Ritchie can catch your attention, like with the hissing serpents from which Arthur’s evil uncle (Law) derives his powers, which were used by him to defeat and kill Arthur’s father (Bana). Ritchie can be funny, and the film, despite itself, is entertaining in parts.
But even that is due to Hunnam’s natural self-effacing charm and the pleasure of seeing Law sprawled on a throne, dressed in a casual shirt and trousers with a crown on his receding hairline.
However, Ritchie has promised five more sequels. Even Camelot ended.