Dienstag, 13. Juni 2017

KING ARTHUR - Movie Review

Title: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Running Time: 126 min
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Honsou, Aidan Gillen, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Eric Bana

For ten years Guy Ritchie had been known for making slick British crime-comedies. Then in 2007, Warner Bros chose him to helm their big budget re-imagining of the world's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. People were curious how Ritchie's unique playful visual style would translate to a period piece. The answer was: Very well. "Sherlock Holmes" became a huge success and grossed over five times of its production budget. No wonder then, that Warner Bros. green-lit a sequel without hesitation and has now given the man another classic literature hero to play around with. But will the director be able to pull off another Holmes-like hit? Or did Warner Bros make an elementary mistake?
"King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" is an exhilarating fun blockbuster that has Guy Ritchie's fingerprints all over it. It is, as you'd except, a more rugged version of the tale. Especially in the first third Arthur and his companions are street smart small-time gangsters that could have easily walked into any scene of "RocknRolla". It does not do the movie any harm however. On the contrary, it takes away some of the pathos that could have made this kind of film too cheesy.
Furthermore, Ritchie's visceral editing gives the movie a fast pace that makes it entertaining for its entire two-hours run-time. He also makes use of his trademark montage sequences more than once, therefore resolving certain plot elements unconventionally quickly. It's a little weird at first and at some points a deeper exploration could have been quite interesting. But again this stylistic choice is conducive to the avoidance of boredom.
Admittedly, such an up-tempo film always runs the risk of failing to create emotional depth. Luckily enough, Charlie Hunnam gives a vigorous performance as our leading man, and Arthur might be his most charming cinematic appearance yet. He is able to have fun with the role without ever disrespecting it, and it is this balance that makes him so believable. Pit against him is Jude Law, who has rarely given a bad performance in his career and obviously had no intention to do so in this film. Their strong portrayal of these two opposing relatives makes up for the scripts neglect to completely flesh them out and carries the movie nonetheless.
Anyone who saw the trailer however, probably didn't come for the family drama in this picture, but rather for the effect-heavy action. Ritchie throws in a lot of fantastical forces and creatures in the film and is certainly determined to make this a visual spectacle. He is one of the few directors who still knows how to properly utilize slow-motion to its full effect. It is probably a question of personal taste whether you think he crosses the line of over-using it during the final showdown, but in general this film is great just to look at.
"King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" might not be a fantasy masterpiece à la "The Lord of the Rings" but it never strives to be that anyway. It is, at its core, a fun and diverting blockbuster that is more than enjoyable. A fresh take on the tale with Ritchie's playful direction to marvel at. I'd buy the DVD.

For Fans of:
Solomon Kane (2009)
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
Warcraft (2016)
Robin Hood (2010)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2016)
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)

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