I could tell that King Arthur: legend of the Sword would be an incoherent mess within the first few seconds, a record timing. In that span, we get two fades to black, a confusing and hard to read title card, and a battle sequence the directors pawned off of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. However, there is no need to worry about understanding this scene, because it has little relevance to any of the events to come.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword tells the famous story of King Arthur. Arthur, who pulled a sword called Excalibur from stone, led a revolution against his evil uncle named Vortigern (Jude Law). I’d give more of a plot synopsis than that, however the film is so incomprehensible that I find that task impossible.
King Arthur was acted and directed without a hint of passion. Actors like Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones), who’ve pulled off great performances in the past, are only hollow shells of themselves in this flick. Dead, lifeless acting.
Some scenes are shot so bad that they come off as poorly timed humor. Near the opening sequence of the film, an arrow goes through the heart of our main character’s mother. This being a sad and dramatic moment, as soon as her body falls to the ground, the title to the film springs on-screen in a bad 90’s comedy fashion. What poor taste.
The action scenes in King Arthur, while as incoherent and nauseating as the rest of the film, were refreshing to see. They were by no means any good, but the action was by far the best feature of the film. Sometimes the camera would take weird and distracting angles, but for the most part the fights were bearable.
While there a many glaring issues with King Arthur, the biggest and most frustrating one is the disjointed way it tells the story. The film constantly intertwines scenes presently happening on-screen with scenes that are to come in the future. Therefore, the audience never gets to experience the film in the present moment, as the story is rushed along to fit more exposition. The intertwined scenes are choppy, make little sense, and fail at conveying meaning to the audience.
Overall, this is a rather boring and lazy film, with very little entertainment value. There were some good scenes here and there, but for the overwhelming majority of King Arthur I was just confused and annoyed. Some of our lead cast are clearly talented people, and deserve to be in better films than this.
So next time Charlie Hunnam or Jude Law sees “and then a giant snake comes in and kills all the bad guys” in a script, I’m hopeful they’ll go with their conscience and say “no”.
The Verdict: F