King Arthur: legend of the sword
King Arthur's Charlie Hunnam

In the tradition of terrible King Arthur movies, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword might just be the worst of them all.

I came into my viewing of the new King Arthur: Legend of the Sword movie with reasonably low expectations. After all, I’d been let down by most of the previous King Arthur reiterations I had seen over the years.

It’s a good story and it shouldn’t be too hard to make a decent movie out of it. Yet, in keeping with tradition, the new Guy Ritchie epic delivers another disappointing take on the legend that will leave audiences scratching their heads and wondering what exactly had they just been watching for the last two hours.

The problem with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is that it can’t decide what it is.

Is it an action film? A fantasy movie? A biopic? A grungy crime film? There’s so much going on and very little attempt to explain the relevance of what we’re seeing.

King Arthur: legend of the sword
This might have been cooler if it didn’t look like it was ripped straight out of LOTR. Source – imdb.com

It’s still an entertaining affair with plenty of exciting fight scenes and dazzling special effects and scenery, and sometimes, even some good acting! It’s just when it’s put together the way it is, it leaves you with too many WTF? moments to stay properly engaged in the movie.

None of the characters were overly likable or made me care about them that much. Charlie Hunnam leads the film as King Arthur with plenty of enthusiasm and charisma, but his character talks so much nonsense that it is hard to take him seriously.

Jude Law does a reasonable job as the chief villain, Vortigern, but his character is way too one-dimensional and lacking any real reason to be so damn evil except, well…that’s just what he felt like.

Jude Law makes for an interesting whiny power-hungry bad guy. Source – imdb.com

There are a couple of Game of Thrones stars slotted in to pretty much the exact same characters they play on the HBO show (Littlefinger is always looking creepy!).

Then there’s a Mage, our only substantial female role who doesn’t even get a name, who has super ridiculous powers which are inexplicably only used some of the time, and a couple of ethnic stereotypes to fill in the ‘diverse’ quota.

Did I mention Eric Bana makes an appearance?? I should because he’s an Aussie and we love him because of it! The credits seem to suggest he has a substantial role but he’s really just a cameo at the start as Arthur’s daddy King Uther, in what’s a pretty bad-ass scene.

King Arthur: legend of the sword
Who thought this was a good idea?? Source – imdb.com

Speaking of cameos, David Beckham makes an appearance!

Yes, David Beckham shows his pretty face as the guardian of the sword in the stone for some reason. And even though his performance is kinda passable, it’s really just a reminder that this movie didn’t bother to take itself too seriously.

Which is a real shame because this really could have been a good movie! But with all the constant montages and the overly-pumping and erratic music, it’s just got too much going on and not enough time to explain any of the details properly.

This was apparently going to be the first of a six movie blockbuster franchise. Good luck with that! It’s got about as much chance of going ahead as Marvel has deciding there are too many superhero films in the market and cutting back on them.

King Arthur: legend of the sword
Reminding us to stick to GOT for good fantasy! Source – imdb.com

This was a fairly bad movie and if you’re looking for a decent take on the famous King Arthur story, you’re better off checking out the 1981 ‘Excalibur,’ which might be a little weird but is very entertaining and at least makes some sort of sense.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t waste my weekend on this soon-to-be-forgotten adaption.

My Rating: 4/10

Musician, movement specialist, avid gamer and practitioner of the dark arts. Give him a good story and he'll be hooked.