Grade: B

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Author: Billy Madden

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is not your typical King Arthur story. It is, however, your typical Guy Ritchie flick.  From the first epic battle scene, complete with huge elephants, to the final clash, Ritchie coats the film with his slo-mo style and “aged yet new” visual polish. The look and feel remind me of Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes movies from 2009 and 2011. Although he is sticking to his comfort zone, his formula, in my opinion, does work for this film.

Every shot in the feature is purposely artistic. You will see majestic views of castles, beautiful glimmering shots of the famous sword named Excalibur, and time-lapsed colossal combat crafted for viewers to disgust every detail. The entire 2-hour and 6-minute runtime (it does move quickly) provides Ritchie plenty of time to unfold the lore of how Arthur became a King; further how the Knights of the Roundtable assembled.

Since this is Ritchie’s first foray into King Arthur’s arc, he gets excited and manages to cram in many storylines in the film. Fans will learn about King Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) in full detail, and it is quite an interesting narrative. You also discover why Arthur and Vortigern (Jude Law) are at odds. In a twist on the original myth, audiences are introduced to The Mage (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) instead of Merlin. She holds the secret to the rightful owner of Excalibur. To maintain a spoiler-free zone, I cannot go into further detail. What I can say, however, is sacrifices are made as The Mage presents a choice to a principal character, swaying the plot in a huge direction.

The acting is also decent; Hunnam and company portray the characters in both a serious and funny way. Like other pictures, it has some comic relief throughout the script. The action sequences are entertaining and tense, which helps tighten the movie to advance at a great pace.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword may not be for everyone, but it is fun to watch. If you appreciate Guy Ritchie, you will be pleased with this movie. Nonetheless, if you hate Guy Ritchie’s work, stay away. Unfortunately for this action fantasy, it’s competing with bigger summer blockbusters due to the timing of its release. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 still running quite hot and Alien: Covenant releasing Friday, this could spoil King Arthur’s debut weekend. 

That being said, I really enjoyed the movie, and it is worth the price of admission. If you’re not into aliens and have already seen Guardians 2, give King Arthur: Legend of the Sword a shot. Chances are you’ll get lost in the legend of it!

Rated: PG-13 (for sequences of violence and action, some suggestive content, and brief strong language)
Director: Guy Ritchie
Screenwriters: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law, Eric Bana
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Adventure 

Acclaimed filmmaker Guy Ritchie brings his dynamic style to the epic fantasy action adventure “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” Starring Charlie Hunnam in the title role, the film is an iconoclastic take on the classic Excalibur myth, tracing Arthur’s journey from the streets to the throne. When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), 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 city’s back alleys. 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.

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