King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Story by David Dobkin, Joby Harold
Screenplay by Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Aidan Gillen, Tom Wu
Arthur (Hunnam) was robbed of his birthright as a child. After pulling the sword from the stone, he finds himself unexpectingly thrust into a battle for the throne.
This film is a unique take on the classic story of King Arthur, written by Joby Harold (Awake), Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes), and Lionel Wigram (The Man From U.N.C.L.E.). The movie was directed by Ritchie, and stars Charlie Hunnam (Crimson Peak) in the title role. The cast also features Jude Law (The Holiday), Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator), Astrid Bergès-Frisbey (I Origins), Aidan Gillen (The Dark Knight Rises), and Tom Wu (Skyfall).
This is an interesting take on the classic story of the Sword in the Stone and the King Arthur legend. Like all of his films, the writing definitely has Guy Ritchie’s style in the writing. The dialogue stands out most, with a lot of fun sequences that pair perfectly with the visuals. The story also takes a few twists and turns that give the old story a new feel. The action is solid as well, keeping the movie exciting. The weakness in the script comes from moments when the writing tries to bring out more drama. These moments feel forced and overdone. This isn’t a perfect script, but there are a lot of fun moments and some good action.
The actors did a decent job with this material, helping to bring out the fun in the story. Charlie Hunnam was a great choice to play the renegade version of Arthur. He handles the action nicely, and also brought out some emotional depth in his role. Jude Law also does good work with a really dark role. The rest of the cast features nice work from actors like Djimon Hounsou, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Aidan Gillen, and Tom Wu. The issue with the weaker script carries into some of the performances, and there a number of supporting characters that feel undeveloped. This might be a performance issue or a writing issue, but either way it should be mentioned.
This film has a unique visual sensibility that fits in with some of Ritchie’s other films. (Think Sherlock Holmes.) The visuals are generally strong, but there is a lot of CGI. Much like Black Panther, this one has some issues with the CGI that might take you out of the story at times. The film also has a decent score, composed by Daniel Pemberton (Steve Jobs). Overall, the production work on this one is good.
Fans of the Arthur legend might enjoy a fresh take on an oft-told story. I would also suggest this to fans of Ritchie and his unique vision. This might also be a good one for fans of the stars. There are issues with the writing, but there are enough moments to make this one fun. If you’re looking for a more conventional telling of the story, look elsewhere. I give this one 3.2 out of 5 stars.
Running Time: 126 Minutes
If you’d like to see this one, you can click on the poster below for some options.