Although I never cared much about the whole King Arthur legend, I remember wanting to see Guy Richie's latest film, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, last year when it was in theatres. Then everyone was saying how bad it was and I chose to not waste my money and time. Months later, a few months ago, as I was trying to write my Best & Worst of 2017 post, I realised I still hadn't seen this one and I gave it a chance and guess what, it made it to my worst list.
Before being murdered at the hands of his aiming-for-the-crown brother Vortigern (Jude Law), King Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) and his wife Elsa (Katie McGrath) were able to salvage their son Arthur. The kid is raised by prostitutes and grows into a skilled fighter (Charlie Hunnam). Then one day he pulls the sword from the stone and goes on a quest to retake his kingdom.
If you are not familiar with the story (that was my case), you'll feel completely lost while watching Ritchie's film. There's no plot whatsoever, only a massive plot hole followed by another massive plot hole, a cliché followed by another cliché. There's some sort of story but it's so embarrassingly written that it's dreadfully boring, unappealing and unengaging. The storytelling is all over the place, while subplots introduced in a very quick and humorous manner that it feels like watching a parody movie. But I'm quite sure that's not what Ritchie intended to do.
Also, Hollywood loves romances so much they insert them everywhere. Here, there's supposed to be a romantic subplot but it's nowhere to be found. At least, and it's very weird, we were spared the painfully cringy romantic subplot involving Arthur and Merlin's hot associate.
|Warner Bros. Pictures|
The characters are just as bad as the rest of the script. They are not interesting, they have no characterization and no development whatsoever. The female characters are treated like trash. And it doesn't matter how hard the actors try, they fail to add depth to those paper thin characters they have to work with. I'm referring to Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law. They both give awful performances, after all there's nothing they could have done with this film's script, but at least they try to show they can act. And before I forget, there's a terrible and out-of-place cameo of David Beckham. Spoiler alert, he is playing David Beckham.
The writing, however, unless you're blind, is far from being the worst aspect of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. This film is a visual disaster. I'm not talking only about the ugly CGI, the poorly shot action sequences that a, look like sequences from a cheap videogame and b, are an utterly confusing mess, but mainly about the editing. A blind person would have done a better job, I swear. The film jumps from meaningless thing to meaningless thing. Not to mention how weird and annoying the camera movements are.
And then there's Daniel Pemberton's score. It's the only good thing about this film. It's pretty much everything Ritchie can rely on to build suspense. Unfortunately, the score alone isn't enough to do that.