Smorgasbord Entertainment Movie Review – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword by Sally Cronin

Because I didn’t get this series started until recently, I am catching up on reviews for films that I have seen in the last few months and that includes Kind Arthur: Legend of the Sword which was released in Ireland in May.

For those who are experts on the subject of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table….. please look away now. This film is a combination of fact and fiction but veering towards pure fabrication.

Here is a trailer first which gives you a brief glimpse of Arthur as Guy Ritchie saw him. Courtesy of

As you may gather from the trailer the script for this film is written in common parlance  without so much of a whisper of Early Modern English or Anglo-Saxon (except for some of the more pithy Anglo-Saxon words)

Through circumstances beyond his control, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) has been brought up in less than salubrious surroundings in a city far from his home. He finds himself swept up in a national conscription of young men of a specific age who must all undertake the same task. This brings him to the attention of Vortigern (Jude Law), who wants to find and destroy anyone who might have more right to the throne than he has.

That’s when the fight started.

Being a film about King Arthur you will find the basic requirements to tell the story. A sword, evil uncle, beautiful woman (or two) wizards and witches with special powers, strange creatures and death and destruction.

The cast also includes Djimon Hounsou (Bedivere), Aiden Gillan (Bill) Little Finger for GOT fans… Rob Knighton (Mordred) and an all too brief appearance by one of my favourite actors Eric Bana (Uther who is Arthur’s father). There is a cast of thousands, and to those who are sharp-eyed enough David Beckham, in a very tiny cameo role. To be honest if you blink you miss it and yet the critics gave poor David and Guy Ritchie stick for his acting. (He did awright)

We went into this film with little expectation except for the fact that we like Guy Ritchie’s gritty approach to film-making (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, The Sherlock Holmes Movies 1 and 2 and The Man from Uncle)

We had just seen Charlie Hunnam deal with mayhem and murder in seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy.  A despicably graphic, murder, drug and gun laden series that was compelling viewing. Written to shock anyone who thinks civilisation was more than skin deep into a reality check.

Anyway we had become rather fond of Jax Teller, despite his descent into anarchy, and as loyal fans felt compelled to see him as the legendary Arthur.

The film starts with an intricate, visually stunning and breathtakingly violent twenty minutes or so, as the battle for the crown takes place and the scene is set for the rest of the film.

Then things settle down a little as we watch Arthur growing up in the city in the alleys and dodgy clubs and pubs, learning how to fight and thieve.  After this brief respite we are thrown right back into the action and it doesn’t stop until the last minute.

The critics and some of those who have seen the film have been less than flattering and for a while its rating on IMDB was pretty dismal. I am happy to say that it has improved considerably in recent weeks, largely I think because of the release in the UK and Ireland where it was met with a different level of appreciation.

After all the film is British made and depicts one of our legends with a cast of familiar faces. We also probably understood the colloquial language used by the actors more. This film did not let the facts get in the way of a good story, which will have upset those who preferred Sean Connery as Arthur and Richard Gere as one of his dashing knights.

However, we live in a different world of video games, fantasy and special effects that allow you to explore legends in a different way. And this film’s non-stop action keeps you on the edge of your seat for the whole two hours.

The production was excellent with the fantasy scenes, particularly of other worldly monsters, stunningly put together. The script had enough humour to allow for some serious hamming by the actors. I did wonder on occasions if there was not some ad libbing going on!

Overall this film was not intended to be a high-brow representation of the life and times of King Arthur.. It was an abstract artists impression and if you have watched The Sons of Anarchy it was a perfect vehicle for Jax Teller.. I mean Charlie Hunnam!

If you like an action film with an element of fantasy, incredible special effects and a director and cast that do it justice then I think you will enjoy.

I give the film 7 out of 10 and recommend that the critics lighten up a bit.

You can find a pre-order link for download and DVD on Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MTY0C57

It is already available in the USA: https://www.amazon.com/King-Arthur-Legend-Charlie-Hunnam/dp/B0722SBT7X

I hope you have enjoyed today’s review and look forward to sharing more soon.  Thanks Sally

 

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10 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Entertainment Movie Review – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword by Sally Cronin

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Entertainment Movie Review – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword by Sally Cronin | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Thanks for your alternative opinion on this film, Sally. I had read some of the bad reviews and was not really interested in seeing it. A more “gritty” version probably won’t appeal to me as much since I would prefer a more highbrow and romantic version myself, but I enjoyed Guy Ritchie’s other films, so I’ll likely watch this one. Like you said, it’s just one artist’s impression of the story and there’s no reason to complain about how the legend of King Arthur was ruined just because one director sees it a certain way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sally thanks for your enjoyable and perceptive review. I missed this at the cinema and am a sucker for anything Arthurian. Like you I generally like Guy Ritchie’s stuff: I liked both Sherlock Holmes and Man from Uncle. He is action packed and homages both comic books and video games as you say. I think the fact it is not a straight cod-historical retelling will probably be a strength especially as Arthur firmly straddles the historical and the purely fantastic in the original stories. Let you know what I think when I get to see it.

    Liked by 1 person

I would be delighted to receive your feedback. Thanks Sally

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