Synopsis: 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 the stone, Arthur embraces his true destiny to become a legendary fighter and leader.
Desolately Short Opinion: A breath of fresh air with some minor flaws that (on their own) aren’t enough to drag down the underlining spirit of this film. Fun, fast paced and worth a watch.
Desolately long opinion…
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword got destroyed at the box office and tales of its legendary mediocre-ness even pre-dated its actual release. Weeks and even months before the actual release stories about how much this movie sucks appeared. It never really seemed to have a chance and never recovered from the negative early reception.
But here’s the thing, it’s not all that bad, actually…
The film comes at you with an entirely new format, that while ambitious, didn’t pay off at all with the majority of moviegoers. It brought in large ‘300 style’ monsters, strange magic with a realistic touch and even took a few cards from sci-fi with other worlds and dimensions in play. It’s concept of ‘mages’ was clearly taken from numerous influences and the overall world is very similar to something you’d expect in Lord Of The Rings.
The story fast tracks it’s way past the unimportant parts to save time but at the same time unintentionally hurries it’s way past everything important or interesting too. The places where I’d have liked to have more detail or depth were treated in a similar fashion to absolutely irrelevant parts of the film and that sucked a bit for me. For instance, I would have loved to have more information on the weird squid things that live in the waters around Camelot and I could have used an explanation on just how the hell that whole super monster transformation of the evil king works. I mean I get he has to ‘pay the price’ but what is that thing? How long does it last? Is there a way to be that way forever?
The CGI is also quite horrible and while you can see what they wanted to do and while they should have been capable of achieving it with such a gigantic budget, they ultimately failed in delivering believable sequences. The area where this really shows is during fights where Arthur looks like a wax figure during most of his motions. Quite honestly I haven’t seen such shoddy CGI since The Matrix Reloaded.
Overall King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is very entertaining, has enough to keep you entertained and occupied and features a lot to ponder about. As for seeing or hearing anything about this film again, I doubt it. Unfortunately, the massive box office failure and overall negative reception killed its franchise prospects and I don’t expect it could recover even with the best chances. I do foresee that this film will gather a cult following over time and now that it’s out on Home Entertainment Media such as Blu-Ray and DVD, it’s likely that it might enjoy some form of success much later in its existence.
Unfortunately, the massive box office failure and overall negative reception killed its franchise prospects and I don’t expect it could recover even with the best of odds. I do foresee that this film will gather a cult following over time and now that it’s out on Blu-Ray and DVD, it’s likely that it might enjoy some form of success much later in its existence.
What the critics had to say…
Big surprise, Critics did not receive this film well. It holds a 28% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a terrible 1,5/4 on Roger Ebert. Surprisingly, IMDb gave it 7/10 and 89% of Google Users liked it too.
King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword had a budget of $175 million and went on to make an underwhelming $146.2 million, putting it down for a $29 million loss in total. Needless to say, this film is not considered a financial success and if you mix that fact in with the generally negative response from critics such as Jimi Famurewa and Peter Debruge, it never had snowballs hope in Hell.
What we liked in particular…
- Uther Pendragon was friggin awesome, Mr. Bigglesworth.
- Djimon Hounsou made an appearance and we love him.
- Needless origin/training scenes are fast tracked to get it over with.
- Original ideas and concepts mixed in with some rather fantastic monsters and creatures.
- The overall concept and universe is pretty awesome.
What we didn’t like so much…
- Shoddy, low budget CGI that looks worse than The Matrix Reloaded.
- Rushed combat scenes with little to interest the viewing audience.
- Half the cast of Game Of Thrones was there.
- The really interesting stuff is skipped entirely or hurried, leaving large plot holes behind.
What we would have liked…
- Merlin, we wanted to see Merlin.
- The rest of the knights of the round table would have been nice.
- More lore on the world and the towers and how the magic works.
- More focus on the swords abilities and powers, detail, dammit.
- A name for the mage girl would have been nice, also a personality of some sort.
Some fun facts about King Arthur…
- Arthur first appears in ‘The History Of The Britons’, written in 830 by Nennius. It is not known if he was actually real or not.
- Arthur was born in Tintagel, Cornwall, which is a real place and is said to also be near Merlin’s cave.
- The person Arthur is based upon was either a Roman soldier or a militia leader, not a king.
- The story was given an English prose in 1485 by Thomas Malory as ‘Le Morte D’Arthur’.
- There is a legend that Arthur will ‘remain sleeping’ until Britain is threatened by foreign invaders.
- Nobody can agree where the ‘real’ Camelot is but it is probably Cadbury Castle, Yeovil.
- The Lady Of The Lake is rumored to live in the enchanted lake in Dozmary Pool, Bodmin Moor.
- There is a legend that Arthur is buried between two pyramids in Glastonbury Abbey. King Henry II even ordered the Abbot to dig for Arthur’s bones to find proof that he exists.
So is King Arthur: Legend of the Sword worth a watch or not?
While the film has issues (like all films), it manages to be entertaining without taking itself too seriously. If you’re not looking for anything too faithful to the core legend of Arthur and want to see a new spin put on a very old story, this one’s for you. I’d say it’s worth a watch and while you shouldn’t go out of your way to see it, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a decent spot of fun for a casual Friday night at home.
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