Movie Review: ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ (2017)

Review by lou.

After the murder of his father, young Arthur’s power-hungry uncle Vortigern seizes control of the crown. Robbed of his birthright, he grows up the hard way in the back alleys of the city, not knowing who he truly is. When fate leads him to pull the Excalibur sword from stone, Arthur embraces his true destiny to become a legendary fighter and leader.


Being a film directed by Guy Ritchie, what you’d expect of him in his latest fantasy-adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is what you’ll ultimately get. Under his reliable hands, a rather classic but resonant tale gets reiterated once again in a fashion that waters it down, yet robes it in effectual appeal. More of his signature flair is imprinted on it to save it from a supposedly burdening mediocrity, and so, a coolness is forged from its light. Amazingly, though not in excess, Guy Ritchie imbues his energy to its potentially dull stature to keep something beating on the inside as well in the gleaming exterior. Stylized filmmaking is what he does best, and even for a movie that is far from what he started with, his versatility shows here on all fours. Definitely, the man could handle it all well, and cleanly too – going blockbuster mode without nobody to hold him back from shaping it to be like one without bringing us much stress to deal with.


Packing action sequences that entertain, it impresses while not being too memorable for it to be claimed as a totally fantastic piece. It takes you into its world with the help of a rollicking score by Daniel Pemberton and eye-pleasing camera work John Mathieson that will pump you up, and get you going. It’s a sparkling display of technical magic that is fused so wonderfully. Looking at the story with great focus though, you’ll begin to notice that it keeps it simple on a level that lessens and almost even ignores the greatness of the classical masterwork that it is based on. But on the contrary, all there is to it is respectable enough since what makes it primarily work is the plainness that is embedded in its rather thin but glossy fabric. Nevertheless, it doesn’t actually end up being your generic, run-of-the-mill medieval adventure whose look is easily recognizable from the thousands of its kind released today. Ritchie’s touches are far too strong than you would imagine for it to end up being a total, steaming mess.


His attractive wonders are alive in every minute, and in them, you could easily sense his efforts paying off by the use of his distinctive eye for scale which brings everything towards a certain epic height. Remarkably too, how he directs the cast is in a way that makes them so grounded in his own vision that they are unmistakably a creation of his own wit and grit. He almost molds them to be his own with characterizations so reminiscent of what we’ve seen from him in his films prior to this, with dialogue that charms. In the end, it’s an enjoyable 2-hour plunge into Arthurian times that becomes so with a zap of flash that doesn’t get too blinding nor greatly concealing of its flaws.



King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is now showing in Philippine cinemas from Warner Bros. Pictures.




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