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CAMELOT — The King Arthur tale has been told over and over again, and we get yet another version this weekend with “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.”
The latest offering for the fabled king is different than any version you’ve seen before and likely different from any version you’ll see again. But just because it’s different doesn’t mean it’s automatically good. So the question now is: “Is ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ any good?” Well, the answer to that question is yes and no, but something I can confidently say about the movie is that it’s a fun two hours at the theater.
Here are a few reasons why “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is worth checking out:
It’s a blast
I was skeptical about this movie before I ever stepped into the theater. My expectations weren’t high, but I also tried to make sure I didn’t decide in my head that I hated it before I ever saw a frame on the screen.
I sat down with an open mind as the house lights went dark and the screen lit up, and I’m glad I did because it resulted in a really enjoyable time at the movies.
“King Arthur” is filled with issues, but I was able to look past them because I was having such a good time. I found myself smiling for much of the movie because I was so into the odd visuals and interesting characters on the screen, not to mention the insane action sequences.
One of the reasons “King Arthur” is so fun is simply because the movie never takes itself too seriously. The film understands it’s a bit ridiculous and owns that characteristic, which ups the fun factor.
I once read that when pitching this movie to studio executives, Guy Ritchie said it would be a cross between “Lord of the Rings” and “Snatch.” You’ve likely all seen “Lord of the Rings,” but likely fewer have seen “Snatch.” The latter is a heist movie involving a wide array of strange and interesting characters with slick visuals, frantic editing and some of the wittiest banter you’ve ever seen on screen.
So now imagine that modern-day heist flick married with the fantasy epic “Lord of the Rings,” and while you may think it doesn't sound like the nuptials of a happy couple, it turns out you’d be wrong because opposites truly attract.
This movie has several frenetic sequences filled with hilarious dialogue that is smart, witty, fast paced and totally ridiculous, but that’s where “King Arthur” gains its charm and what makes it stand out from yet another iteration of the Arthurian legend.
Personally, I am a big Guy Ritchie fan. I loved “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and the aforementioned “Snatch.” I was also a fan of both “Sherlock Holmes” movies starring Robert Downey Jr. Ritchie is truly a unique director, and all the titles I just mentioned prove that. I wasn’t sure how a Ritchie helmed “King Arthur” would turn out, but I got exactly what I wanted— something that just exuded Ritchie from start to finish.
The director has one of the most original eyes and interesting outlooks on film that I’ve ever seen, and I love watching his scenes come together. Ritchie has a distinct style and pace, and he played them to bizarre perfection with “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” and for me, it completely landed.
It’s not for everyone
I had a really great time with this movie, and it’s one I look forward to watching at home again with friends. However, Ritchie’s brash style that seems to flourish at breakneck speed is not for everyone. The movie gets strange and odd at times with its mythical elements being taken quite far, but I was personally fine with suspending reality because I think Ritchie stayed within the limits and rules he set up within this universe.
As I mentioned, not everyone is going to love “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” and I highly doubt many of my critic peers will like it, but I don’t care because I had a blast. And I think a lot of people will have fun with this odd, original and somewhat irreverent take on the legend of King Arthur.
“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some suggestive content and brief strong language. For a full breakdown of the content, make sure to read Dave Clyde’s parent’s review of the film on Friday.