Monday, May 22, 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the

Alright first let me say I love my wife.
Second I think I might have to reevaluate our relationship after she wanted me to go with her to see King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

I am a firm believer that there isn’t  a really fantastic movie about King Arthur. Sure Monty Python’s The Holy Grail is a comedy classic, but it is not a good King Arthur movie.
Excalibur from the early 80’s has Patrick Stewart, great suits of platemail and some good lines…but it really isn’t good. These two movies are the only two I can watch more than once. The rest of the list is full of high quality stinkers about King Arthur and Camelot. We have these turds: First Knight, King Arthur (Clive Owen), The Last Legion, Merlin (the miniseries), Disney’s the Sword and the Sorcerer (fun for kids but not really great and doesn’t hold up at all), Prince valiant ( which I couldn’t finish due to how terrible it was) and the Mists of Avalon miniseries (which I didn’t make it through either due to utter boredom). There a more out, but I have not and will not see them.

Yes there isn’t  a truly top to bottom good King Arthur movie and this newest version is pretty bad too.

Alright I like the following films by Guy Ritchie: Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, the first of his Sherlock Holmes film and a couple moments in Rock N Rolla. So Guy Ritchie is alright by me. Well….I guess until this movie was unleashed.

Okee dokee then.

We have the typical Arthurian legend stuff. King with super sword. King dies. Sword goes in rock. Only next king can remove sword. Guys does this. Shenanigans ensue. Round table. Knights. Roll credits.

That is how it should go right? Well here Arthur’s parents die. He is cast away to London or Londonium/ Londinium. He is raised in a brothel and runs the streets like Aladdin. He makes buddies who become his crew. They act like some version of Robin Hood but  they keep the money instead. He learns fighting from some Asian karate master  who has a dojo in London. He grows up. He completely forgets everything about his childhood family trauma along the way.

Jump to evil Jude Law, Arthur’s uncle, is running the country. He is also trying to become a super wizard by building a tower. How does that work? There is a petty rebellion he is trying to put down as well. Then the waters part and the lost sword in the stone reappears. 

All men of a discerning age are nabbed to try and remove said sword. Arthur does. He doesn’t want it or the kingdom. Uncle comes calling for sword/Arthur. Arthur is whisked away by the petty rebellion. A female wizard is introduced. No Merlin here! Arthur begins training with the sword. Plans are made to over throw uncle. Arthur has  minor hiss fit about sword, king and various duties. Uncle king needs overthrown. Arthur gets poisoned by wizard for a dream sequence while travelling to face uncle king.  A giant snake arrives to eat castle guards. Uncle becomes guy from a molly Hatchet album cover.

Fight ensues. Uncle dies. Arthur is king. His buddies…can you guess… they all become his knights. A round table is being fashioned. Roll credits.

Sound like a kind of lame and hurried overview. Well it was.

Not Merlin wizard

I passed over the Dark Land sequence full of giant regular animals. Too many dream sequences. The assassination attempt on uncle king and the horrible chase with many close-up face shots that ensue. The girl wizard who only has magic over animals. The lack of Merlin. The fat squid monster lady and her thin tentacle sisters/appendages that live below Camelot. The beginning where Mordred is assaulting with elephants the size of a small mountain that have fire shooting temples on their backs. Excalibur turns the wielder’s eyes white when held with two hands and gives them magical fighting powers. Arthur becomes an Earth Bender while wielding Excalibur. Why is there a karate school in middle age London? Was the girl wizard supposed to be a future love interest in another film that will never happen because this movie bombed? By the way her name was never given she was just called Mage. “BLERG!” Uncle King’s goons are wearing masks from Quiet Riot. Why? There is a lot of slow motion battles with wyrd camera angles and this push in/push out camera movement that is kind of jarring. The major character costuming looks way to trendy and contemporary for middle age England. Arthur is old enough to probably remember his parents dying, but somehow cannot remember the event. Seriously no Merlin? Uther became the stone the sword was stuck into for some reason. What is that about? Why does uncle king become a Frank Franzetta painitng villain when he fights?
How big are these elephants?
 WAIT!!!! Jude Law as evil uncle king was pretty damn good. He was a descent good bad guy and wouldn’t mind seeing him in a villain role again.

There was a lot going on and nothing go on all at the same time in this movie. There were brief moments of Guy Ritchie heist films here. Those were early and fun. There were a rare amount of high fantasy sword sorcery here too, but those were surrounded by just muddled crappy story. This movie had no idea what it wanted to be. Part of it felt like watching middle ages Snatch and Lock,Stock. Part of it was action set piece movie with terrible action set pieces. It was a fantasy movie with fantasy elements that had potential and then fell flat.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, is a damn mess. It continues the tradition of bad King Arthur movies. 

Animagus? Still not Merlin!

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