Growing up in a rough neighbourhood, due to losing his birthright as part of royal lineage, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam – Crimson Peak, Pacific Rim) has life hard. On one hand, he learns many valuable skills and life lesson, yet on the other he is relegated to the back alleys of the city, with the company of those who are seen as outcasts.
Meanwhile his uncle, Vortigern (Jude Law – Genius) rules the city as a terrible despot, meting out swift punishment on any who appose his plans. Have struck a deal with evil, he has an urgent need to ensure the king of legend can never come to power.
As the tale kicks off, with Arthur pulling Excalibur from a stone, he is forced to face his legacy. He bands together with several characters to form a rag-tag group, but a group with honour, fighting for peace for all, and an end to Vortigern’s tyranny.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is visually stunning. There are perhaps a few too many moments where the camera languishes in the slow motion of battle, but this is soon forgotten with the stunning locations.
As Arthur, Charlie Hunnam brings a touch of humour, with the quips and on occasion physical comedy. Jude Law is superb as a villain, commanding an ominous, yet not overstate presence. The rest of the cast and character ensemble round out a good dose of talent, bringing forth an enjoyable film.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is enjoyable, yet at times feels like it misses the story we all know so well. For some, this might be a welcome respite from the staid repeats of all others, yet this incarnation is perhaps not the ideal way to be introduced to a timeless classic.
A fun action film, and another interpretation. But a word of caution, as with all too many South African cinemas. The 3D is dark. Why cinemas do not realise this, is a problem that seems likely to plague the paying audiences for a while longer. Not to mention that the cinema that screened the preview has a surround speaker that has been broken for well over a year, causing it to create a most irritating, grating sound with any low frequency effects, of which King Arthur has many. Sad, when these can all be easily remedied. Vote with your feet, and pick a screen where you can enjoy the film as it was intended.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a fun, fast-paced action story, riding on the shoulders of a legendary tale that we all know and love. It opens 12 May 2017 in South African cinemas.