There’s something a little pitiful about a big-budget, high expectation movie that fails big time, especially when it has an ending that is clearly set up for a series of multi-million dollar sequels. “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is a true mess of a movie from director Guy Ritchie, a filmmaker I used to respect and fangirl over until he started making a string of colossal misses. His latest effort continues that tradition.
The movie takes the classic story and turns it into an obnoxious, flashy, quick cutting, overly long music video that will bore both older and younger audiences, albeit for different reasons. Ritchie remains true to his frentic signature style, but remaining stagnant over the years means it now seems cliché and tiresome instead of lively in its innovation.
His actors don’t do the film any favors either. There are some truly horrible performances here, including a laughable display of over dramatization from Jude Law, wooden line delivery from Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, and a turn from Djimon Hounsou that’s so stiff I’d swear at times the man was an android filling in for the actor. Charlie Hunnam plays King Arthur and he’s sort of charismatic (I guess).
And there’s the real problem about this one: its indifference. The movie is mostly just a lot of noise and a lot of style over substance, resulting in a whole lot of bored audiences.
It’s not all abysmal, as the costumes are pretty fantastic, a creative meeting of Medieval royalty and modern sass (think ostentatious fur wraps along with hipster skinny jeans), and the original score by Daniel Pemberton is well suited to the material and unbelievably good. The special effects are also satisfying enough to keep the mystical mumbo-jumbo believable.
This is really just a mediocre fantasy movie. But at least it’s not completely a steaming pile of garbage.