Director: Guy Ritchie
Vortigern (Jude Law) has taken control of Camelot having betrayed his brother, Uther (Eric Bana), but not before Uther can get his infant son, Arthur, to safety. Unfortunately for Arthur, his Mother is killed during the escape and this haunts him in his later life as he is totally unaware of his heritage. In later years, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) has become a streetwise hustler alongside his friends Wet Stick and Back Lack. He makes a quiet success of himself but interests are spiked when Vortigern intensifies his search for his brother’s son. Uther’s son had been part of the pact Vortigern had made to increase his powers and the fear of his subjects. This leads the film into a battle between good and evil as Arthur pulls Excalibur from the stone and Vortigern has his man.
Legend of the sword has a very strong cast. Charlie Hunham, whilst being a draw on paper after his Sons of Anarchy success, is not what I would call a big box office draw. I don’t rate him as an actor particularly but I suppose he does look the part. This could go some way to explaining why the film has performed so badly, however. The rest of the cast, though, you could expect to be more than adequately impressed with but, to be fair, they are not given anything worthy of their skills to work with. Jude Law does turn in a good turn as our evil antagonist and he certainly makes the most of his role. Everybody else, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, Aidan Gillen included, just isn’t given any thing great in terms of script or screenplay that they can really make anything of. Aiden Gillen, though, is usually a pleasure to watch with his own unique style of acting and manages the best he can here and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey does the best she can as our resident Mage but she suffers the same fate as the rest of this highly rated cast.
If you’ve read any other reviews of this King Arthur adaption then you may feel you’ve read the next part before in those reviews as I’m not the only one to see the real problem with this movie. For me, you just cannot take an Arthurian legend and retell it like it’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch, it just doesn’t work. Those two movies are classics in their own genre, one Ritchie made his own, but telling a medieval tale in that manner just falls flat and seems very out-of-place. The problem, I think Ritchie, has is that since those two big successes he hasn’t been able to match them with his own original stories and screenplays so has taken to adapting well-known stories and retelling them in his style. The Sherlock Holmes movies were enjoyable enough but King Arthur lacks the grandiose spectacle it deserves and thing that I liked most about it was the much maligned cameo appearance by David Beckham. The film is being talked about for all the wrong reasons! Maybe Guy needs to try to put together another original story and try to get back some of that magic that gained him such high recognition.
The verdict: 1/5 Stars: Not the stuff of legends.