#REVIEW: “KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
The legend of King Arthur has been around for over a thousand years. It grew from humble origins to include an immortal wizard, a holy grail… and endless cinematic interpretations. Guy Ritchie offers up the latest, one that is delightfully experimental and incredibly well cast. Its story starts in the latter days of Romano-Britain, in Londinium to be exact. Where the great Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) has been usurped by his brother Vortigern (Jude Law). Arthur, Uther’s infant child, is the only one to escape his uncle’s wrath. After a few decades and a series of unfortunate events Arthur finds himself before a sword rooted in stone. There he acquiesces to the badgering of a nearby guardsman and grabs the exposed hilt. Drawing forth the blade, Arthur’s legend begins.
Charlie Hunnam’s journey as Arthur is a treacherous one. He is helped in his efforts by his father’s friends, played by Djimon Hounsou and Aidan Gillen, as well as by a nameless woman. Tutored by Merlin, the woman (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) aids Arthur as a master of magic. Like many others, she believes in the Born King… Arthur struggles to be worthy of their faith.
Ritchie does well in crowning the Great King of England, and his nuances are embedded throughout the production: from characters like “Wet Stick” and “Back Lack,” to witty narrations and hilarious dialog. He also learned a lot about CGI in this Legend of the Sword. For there are numerous environments and creatures that are beautifully enhanced by the Film’s design team. That is not to say that the practical effects aren’t excellent as well. Like many great Directors, Ritchie balances the digital with costumes, sets, and scenery that both ground and enhance the spectacle. For example, the hand forged Excalibur is wielded with the kind of choreography that only gods and computers can execute. Hunnam is nevertheless an adonis, and the Film’s merits are beyond mentionable here. Suffice it to say that this is the greatest cinematic adaptation of Arthur since 1981’s Excalibur. Thus, if it’s already gained your interest it’s definitely worth your attention.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD Friday, May 12, 2017.