When news of a new King Arthur origin stories directed by non-other than Guy Ritchie broke, people were expecting a movie as good – if not better – as Sherlock Holmes. While Charlie Hunnam is no Robert Downey Jr., the Sons of Anarchy lead is more than capable of keeping audiences worldwide engaged for a bit over 2 hours, and underneath a thick layer of editing, his talent is visible.
It Should Have Been a Tale of a Pauper Turned King
In the original tale, Arthur grew up on a farm. In Ritchie’s vision, the king of Camelot was a common thief, gang leader, and lying enthusiast. During the first part of the movie, the audience has the pleasure of being introduced to the real Arthur, the man who knows nothing of his noble heritage or grand destiny.
During an opening scene, The Legend of the Sword tells the tale of an epic battle with a group of brutish Vikings. Instead of focusing on the battle, per se, Arthur – and the movie for that matter – dizzies the audience, recounting the shameless bashing of a fur merchant multiple times with numerous overlapping voices adding more and more details. What wanted to be an attempt at showing a human, flawed side of King Arthur turned into a pitiful attempt at editing out Hunnam’s talent and evidencing the director’s lack of vision.
This initial scene can sum up the Legend of the Sword. Whenever the action starts to become remotely interesting, heavy editing spoils everything. The worst part is, editing aside, this could have been the great movie fans were waiting for as neither Hunnam nor Law lack talent and charisma.
The man who managed to make Sherlock Holmes look cooler than ever, throwing him in the arena with common thugs, calculating the trajectory of his every punch, outthinking and outshining his enemies in great style and humor should have been able to bring us a good reinterpretation of King Arthur’s legend. Luckily, we’ll always have A Knight’s Tale to satisfy our hunger for medieval paraphernalia used by pretty knights in search of grandiosity.
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