Good news! It appears after my positive review of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, a few more fresh tomatoes landed! When I wrote my last review, the critic rating was at a very low 21% … but now it is at a not so low 27%. I find it very hard to believe Smurfs: The Lost Village (38%) and Snatched (36%) are better movies in any manner unless it is number of blue characters or self depricating jokes, granted I haven’t wasted my time on either one. Add onto the fact that the King Arthur: LotS is now expected to lose the studio $150 million … so there will likely not be a sequel.
I would still give this version of King Arthur a solid 8 “Goose Fat Bill aka Tommy Carcetti aka Littlefinger aka Petyr Baelish is a good guy now?” out of 10.
FOR THE UNITIATED
We open up with backstory of Vortigern (Jude Law) and how he usurped the throne from Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana). Luckily Uther knew something was up and shipped off his sole heir Arthur (eventually Charlie Hunnam). Fast forward several years, Excalibur appears, and as all legends say, it stuck in a stone, only to be removed by the true king. A quite rebellion starts, and as all crazed dictators act when fearing a prophecy, Vortigern goes crazy. In a desperate attempt to find his nephew, he ships men in to attempt to pull the sword out, and that is where we learn Author is the One. The rebellion grows and he teams up with one of his father’s knights (Djimon Hounsou) and a mage (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey). Together they hatch a plan to take down the false king.
While Eric Bana is the best thing about this movie (see prior review for more information on this), the sound is a terrific second. The sound of the magic elephants helps convey the sheer size and terrifying nature they bring to the battlefield. The other big standout sound is the lack thereof, the silence is almost deafening at points. The music also did a great job of tying everything together whether it was a montage, chase scene, or fight scene. It won’t be a soundtrack worth buying, seeing the movie again to hear it, but it definitely helps the mood of the movie.
Last review, I said the ending was poor … still a horrible finale to a great movie. The second viewing made it more apparent that the third act as a whole was garbage. Once the snake bite induced “nightmare” starts, you would think there would be something but you would be wrong. Instead everything goes straight to the final confrontation that ignores the rest of the cast entirely. Arthur takes out the majority of the king’s guard without breaking a sweat before facing down Vortigern. After being handily defeated the first time, Arthur sees a vision of Uther giving him Excalibur. He then restarts the fight? If not, why would Vortigern go back to the pointless table and wait for Arthur to wake up?
Long story short, King Arthur: LotS is getting a lot of undue neglect and criticism. If there was a different ending, it would easily land near the top of my list of underrated movies. Instead it will join the ranks of great movies with horrible trailers and giant flaws. I would urge you to enjoy it while able to see it on the biggest screen with the biggest speakers possible.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword should have been the first part in several movies, but it will more than likely stand alone. So if you need something to scratch you sword and wizard movie itch, check out the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are plenty of sword fights, magical moments, and giant elephants. I won’t pretend you all are oblivious, so just go back and rewatch them!