You’d either love King Arthur: Legend of the Sword for its sheer audacity, or detest it for its radical rewriting of the Arthurian legends.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Synopsis
Jealous of his brother, the treacherous Vortigern stages a coup and succeeds in usurping the throne of Uther Pendragon, King of Camelot. However, Uther manages to send away his young son Arthur before dying in combat. Years later, Arthur is a toughened rogue in the streets of Londinium, respected and feared by both sides of the law. After a series of events, he meets Vortigern and learns of his true lineage. He also struggles to accept the grim destiny left to him by his father, in the form of the magical sword Excalibur.
As with Assassin’s Creed, I read nothing but poor reviews since the release of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. These affected me. I almost decided not to watch it.
Surprise, surprise, the movie was flawed but hardly as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, I genuinely found most parts of it entertaining. I also didn’t mind the decisively roguish and decisively un-knightly new version of Arthur Pendragon. There was a certain refreshing appeal with the bold revision.
This might be because of the gamer in me. The movie undeniably suffers from a disconnected story flow, but as a gamer, I’m used to filling in the gaps between disparate cutscenes.
Yes, it still felt terribly odd that the story is so undecided on style and approach. At times, it pretends to be a LOTR-like epic, at other times, it morphs into a strange hybrid of Eastenders and A Game of Thrones.
But did this disrupt the story for me? Did it make the viewing experience altogether incomprehensible? No. I just shut off in between key scenes and focused on my popcorn. In a way, this is not too unlike Excalibur in the movie. As in how the mythical sword is shown to have an auto on-off mechanism in the hands of the right Pendragon.
Naturally, I’m aware that many other viewers would mind the incongruity. I suspect more than a few would also dislike the use of modern British street talk in a medieval, CGI-soaked feature; thus the many poor reviews.
The long and short, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is one of those movies you’d love for the sheer audacity of it, or thoroughly despise. Going by current ratings, it’s clear the latter is the larger group. I confess I feel this to be a tad tragic.
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