By Mohammed Ashraful Alam (England, London)
The latest incarnation of the famous King Arthur tale gives a unique and ambitious story in King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword.
The film takes off immediately showing a fierce and destructive battle between Uther Pendragon (played by Eric Banner) and his bloodthirsty, power hungry brother King Vortigen (played by Jude Law) leaving a young orphan Arthur (played by Charlie Hunnam) without any knowledge of his identity.
Even though I’m not a fan of a medieval knight’s tale (especially one told so many times) I particularly enjoyed this one. The plot focuses more on King Arthur’s background story of him growing up without any real sense of who he really is makes this version of the character more noble, relatable and enjoyable. It also helps the fact that Charlie Hunnam’s King Arthur is funny, dashing and chartable which makes the audience invest more emotions to the character. I am safe to say this is one of Hunnam’s best performances. Other than Hunnam, Jude Law’s version of the evil king Vortigen was absolutely stunning, as we witnessed him sacrificing and killing his own wife and daughter to sit on the thrown he so badly desires. This almost wanted me to hate him but at the same time feel for his character due to him being lonely and regretful.
It was no easy task for Guy Ritchie to execute such intense and heart pounding battle scenes especially when we’ve witnessed countless King Arthur battles and fight scenes. The use of slow motion and CGI sword battles showed us the true power and significance of King Arthur’s famous trademark sword “The Excalibur” which we have never seen like before. This also establishes a special relationship between King Arthur and his sword much like Thor and his mighty hammer “Mjolnir” as the King needs to believe in himself to wield the power of the sword, which creates an emotional obstacle as well as a physical obstacle he faces. The slow motion sword fight transitions into a fast paced battle and adding the brilliant soundtrack creates a fierce, breathless and sensational atmosphere which puts you right in the heart of the action.
Although this film has its moments it also has moments where you want to close your eyes and wait for the sequence to move on. For Instance the dialogue at times would feel to cheesy and over the top when really we want to see the main body of the issue being addressed rather than sloppy banter and a few bland jokes. This slowed down the tempo and pace of the movie just when it was about to take off creating a weird balance of emotion and atmosphere.
One thing which really felt like a downer was the fact that this film had a great addition to its cast such as Dijimon Hounsou, Aiden Gillen and even David Beckham (Joking about Becks), who were really were under-utilised and just felt like characters who just came along with the thrill and the ride rather than holding any real significance to the protagonist’s story arc (It also didn’t help that one of the most important characters of King Arthurs rise “Merlin” was absent in this movie)
To sum it all up, I would highly recommend this film to a viewer despite the box office bomb and harsh critics reviews. The movie captures a stimulating energetic frenzy which very films try to capture. I can put this movie as one of the best movies in 2017.
Uther Pendragon: Listen to me, I need you do to as I tell you. I need to get you and the boy away from here.
Uther Pendragon: Run, son!
The Mage: Did you see everything you needed to see?
Arthur: I saw enough.
Jack’s Eye: Now tell me a story. Tell me every detail.
Arthur: I woke up.
Jack’s Eye: From where?
Arthur: From a nightmare.
Jack’s Eye: What was it about?
Jack’s Eye: Then?
Arthur: Then me and the lads took care of business.
Jack’s Eye: Hold, hold up, back up, back up. You’ve left something out.
Arthur: Are you writing a book? They all lived happily ever after.
Jack’s Eye: No, they did none of that, because for the first time there’s something you don’t know, something nobody told you.
Arthur: Why have enemies when you can have friends?
Vortigern: Why has the water dropped? Why does the sword reveal itself now?
Merlin Wizard: [to Vortigern] There are rumors, the legend of the sword, of a king other than yourself.
Syren: [to Vortigern] As your power increases so do the forces that will oppose you. The born king will come. It is inevitable.
Vortigern: He felt it, the power.
Arthur: I’ve never had any power, why do you desire to achieve it?
Arthur: I see what you’re doing. You’re trying to get me to do some razzle-dazzle with that sword. I’m going to tell you right now, I’m not getting drawn into this mess. There’s an army of you, there’s only one of me. I haven’t had a fight for years. Want to talk, I’m happy to talk, but there is no way that I am fighting.
[suddenly he punches Bill and kicks Bedivere in the crotch and head-butts Percival then takes a sword]
Arthur: Alright, where do you want me?
Trigger: Bouncing on my knee. Where do you think I want you? Hands on the heel, stupid.
Trigger: [Arthur touches the sword, but he feels something and takes off his hand] Oy, both hands.
[Arthur uses both hand and raises the sword from the stone]
Arthur: That’s what all the fuss is about?
Bedivere: Don’t worry, you’ll soon understand what all the fuss is about.
The Mage: Are you scared?
Arthur: I think I can manage.
The Mage: You should be scared.
Bedivere: [to Arthur] It was Vortigern who murdered your father. But what he didn’t account for is what you can do with this sword.
Vortigern: Whatever it takes to hunt him down!
Mercia: You wanted a prophecy, this is your prophecy. The man who pulled sword from stone. Behold, your born king!
Vortigern: [to Arthur] I know what kind of a man you are. I know your story. What kind of man would you become had you inherited your father’s kingdom instead of being raised in a brothel? What gave you such drive? You felt it, didn’t you, the power.
Mercia: Behold, the man who pulled sword from stone!
Arthur: I’m not getting draw into this mess, there’s any army of you, there’s only one of me. I’ll talk, I’m happy to talk, but there is no way that I am fighting.
Arthur: So what happens now?
Vortigern: You know what happens now. You’re quickly becoming a legend.
Arthur: If I go down you follow him. If he goes down you follow me.
Vortigern: That sword belongs to me.
The Mage: You want him to think big, give him something big to think about.
Maggie: You need to be careful, his power is increasing.
Vortigern: Maggie, I never realized what an important member of my household you are.
Maggie: Your majesty, I…
Vortigern: I haven’t finished. Still down. Until recently I didn’t recognize what a powerful tool you could be in the right hands. I thought you were simply a pawn. It turns out you were a far more significant piece, and it would be witless of me not to use that to my advantage, given how effectively you’ve been used against me.
Maggie: You are a cunning old bastard, Vortigern. But what you fail to understand is that it’s you who’s fed to the hangman that will eventually come for you.
Arthur: You two, down here, it’s a straight run to the river.
Bill: You go first.
Arthur: We don’t have time to argue, Bill.
Bill: Some of us will make it out in time, some of us won’t.
Arthur: Well better some than none!
Bill: You go first.
Arthur: Mike, get down the hole!
Mike: Full of rats, boss.
Dan Clan: I’m scared of the dark.
Arthur: Really? George, will you tell them?
George: Sorry, boss.
General 1: [to his men] Weapons!
Arthur: You silly bastards. Determined to die.
General 1: [to his men] On my command!
[the soldiers start to break down the door]
George: [to Arthur] Riots are spreading across the whole country. People are fighting for you.
Vortigern: When people fear you, it is the most intoxicating sensation a man can possess.
The Mage: [to Arthur] You’re starting to mean something. You’re no longer a myth.
Arthur: I’m going to kill him.
Mercia: You wanted a prophecy. Raise that sword! Show the people the power of Excalibur!
Bedivere: You’re playing with fire.
Arthur: But doesn’t it make the palace burn well.
Bedivere: There is the king.
Bedivere: [to Arthur] The sword is yours.
Arthur: [referring to the sword] I wasn’t controlling it. It was controlling me.
Arthur: I suppose you want to know what happened to me.
Bedivere: I don’t want to push you, but, George?
George: Rise are spreading, not just in Londinium, across the whole country. People are fighting for you.
Bedivere: If there was ever a change it’s now.
Bill: It’s not going to last, but like you said, we’re not going to push you.
Arthur: I’m ready. We’re going to take the castle and we’re going in the front door. George, I need you to go to Londinium, gather the lads. Where’s The Mage?
Bedivere: She’s back at the cave.
Bedivere: Now, when you say we’re going to take the castle, what does that mean?
Arthur: I thought you said you weren’t going to push me. Come on, lads. Chop-chop.
Arthur: You created me.
felipe coutinho says
Some critics make this move look so bad, but I don’t care this movie its wonderful.
John noel says
Such a GREAT movie, HUGE production quality, writing and acting and MUSIC!!… Yet, critics panned it, so it failed.
Can we just admire Jude Law’s ability to completely revel and ham his role up to the umpteenth degree without chewing the scenery around him?
By god did he make the best villain.