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King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword

Format(s) Available
DIGITAL
D-BOX
Opening Date
18 May 2017
Rating
PG13 Some Violence and Brief Coarse Language
Runtime
126 mins
Language
English with Chinese subtitles
Genre
Action, Adventure
Director
Guy Ritchie
Cast
Charlie Hunnam, Eric Bana, Jude Law, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Annabelle Wallis
Synopsis
When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern, Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy…whether he likes it or not.
Reviews
By Hoai  18 May 2017
King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword intends to serve up a feast, but all it ends up doing is leaving the audience empty but definitely not wanting for more.
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King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword is the latest cinematic reimagining of the medieval hero. The film opens with a massive battle where King Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) defends Camelot against Mordred (Rob Knighton), involving, for some reason, giant magical elephants.

The enormous scale of the fight sequence coupled with the rather heavy-handed use of CGI makes for an impressive, if not visually overwhelming, start of the film. After the battle, Uther is killed by his brother Vortigern (Jude Law), but not before he manages to send his baby son Arthur down the river in a basket. Arthur arrives at Londonium and is raised in a brothel.

The film then engages in what has become Guy Ritchie’s trademark: a very fast-cutting montage of Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) growing up from a helpless child into a sly, street-smart young man with an irreverence towards authority. Meanwhile, Vortigern is still searching for his nephew for fear of Arthur one day defeating him. Their paths cross when Arthur successfully pulls his father’s sword - the Excalibur - from the stone and is brought in front of Vortigern. This first encounter prompts Arthur’s journey of leading the resistance against his uncle. Accompanying him is a band of outlaws possessing various powers and skills including Bedivere (Djimon Hounsou) who served under Arthur’s late father and the mysterious mage (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey).

One major flaw of the film is the weak plot. Vortigern spends years searching for Arthur only to keep him in a cell instead of having him killed right away. The Mage merely serves as a convenient crutch to get Arthur and his gang out of trouble. The film also doesn’t seem to have a real stake where the second half is just one action sequence after another without any element to further the plot. The intense action sequences may distract from the weak storyline the first few times, but they cannot save the film in the end.

Guy Ritchie’s reliance on quick cuts, flash forwards and backwards to get through a large chunk of information is both lazy and ineffective. There are only so many times the audience can listen to the character detailing the plan while watching a sped-up sequence of him executing said plan before it gets old, and frankly, annoying. The overuse of visual effects also contributes to the ineffective storytelling in this film, as the story quickly gets lost among the loud, flashy set pieces and over-the-top effects that the film loves to indulge in.

Overall, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword intends to serve up a feast, but all it ends up doing is leaving the audience empty but definitely not wanting for more.
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By Andy  16 May 2017
To enjoy King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, one must accept the fact that this is not going to be the best medieval film out there, or even the best rendition of Arthurian tales. Ultimately, this film is just going to be a mindless popcorn film full of overwhelming CGI and over-the-top mysticism (even by fantasy film standards) to kick off a summer of like-minded films.
read more

The “Once and Future King” is here, well, the “Once” part at least. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a fantasy-action film starring Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim) in the titular role and Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes film series, The Young Pope) as King Vortigern, Arthur’s uncle and murderer of his own brother to claim the throne for himself. Undoubtedly, this film is meant to be a popcorn movie leading up to a season of summer blockbusters, but the latest rendition of the tales of Camelot seem to feel more like a high production video game than an actual film.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, of Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr. Madonna’s ex-husband fame, this film details Arthur’s rise to kingship from the assassination of his father, King Uther (Eric Bana; Hulk, Star Trek) to the discovery of his enchanted lineage when he pulls the legendary sword, Excalibur, from the stone. While one should note that Arthurian stories have always contained magical elements and demonic adversities, the excessively-fantastical vibe coupled with overused CGI elements in Ritchie’s reimagined Camelot pushes the limit for it to even be considered hyper-realistic.

Using fast cuts and a “big battle” opening to skim through the character development for Arthur, the first quarter of the film feels like a typical video game cutscene you would watch before playing. While the director does try to set the film in a darker tone than recent fantasy films, one cannot help but notice a pastiche blend of video game tropes and elements within Ritchie’s cinematic vision. An Assassin’s Creed-like falcon as the eyes in the sky, a snake charmer with a Prince of Persia vibe, a Dark Souls-like demon with a burning skull for a face and time-manipulating action sequences of Shadow of Mordor proportions, King Arthur feels more like a mood board full of medieval-themed video games than an actual film about the rise of Arthur.

Charlie Hunnam leads the relatively minor cast, other than Jude Law and Eric Bana in King Arthur. Even though Hunnam plays the titular character to mediocre success, his TV-based fame ultimately falls short against the scene-stealing Law of A-list Hollywood fame, whose villainous portrayal of a jealous king remains as the saviour for the overall lacklustre attempt at revitalising the Arthurian legend. While the most prominent female cast in the film, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey’s portrayal of The Mage – a nameless replacement for Merlin – is hindered by poor character development and her poor diction of English, a language she only learnt for her role in 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

To enjoy King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, one must accept the fact that this is not going to be the best medieval film out there, or even the best rendition of Arthurian tales. Ultimately, this film is just going to be a mindless popcorn film full of overwhelming CGI and over-the-top mysticism (even by fantasy film standards) to kick off a summer of like-minded films. Transformers: The Last Knight, anyone?
read less
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