Review King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Discussion in 'So Bad They're Good' started by Doctor Omega, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    Your thoughts on this movie.....

    Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy - whether he likes it or not.



     
    #1 Doctor Omega, Mar 5, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
  2. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword' — What the Critics Are Saying


    The knives — or should that be swords? — are out for Guy Ritchie's new take on the classic tale.



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    It's a tale as old as time — or, at least, a few centuries. But has director Guy Ritchie managed to successfully update Arthurian myth with the new King Arthur: Legend of the Sword?

    The reviews are out, and critical consensus appears to suggest that the answer is no … unless you were hoping for something incoherent and underwhelming with brief glimpses of greatness.

    "Loud, bombastic and thuddingly obvious, this is a vulgar movie for vulgar times," writes The Hollywood Reporter chief film critic Todd McCarthy in his review. That wasn't necessarily an insult, however; he goes on to add that it "can't be denied that Ritchie, who hasn't been deemed a director of creative interest since his early Lock, Stock… and Snatch days, and certainly least of all for his hugely lucrative Sherlock Holmes entries, does pull off some quick-witted and clever sequences here; he doesn't want to bore or approach narrative conventionally, so he's found ways of conveying a good deal of information very quickly, taking an aggressive approach to supplying backstory and never ever slipping into solemnity or sanctimony."

    Others don't share even McCarthy's grudging enthusiasm, however. Birth Movies Death's Evan Saathoff calls the movie "not only a hyperactive music video, but a bloated one," and complains, "it’s a slog with occasional good parts, strutting along like a cocksure jock who doesn’t know he has a 'kick me' sign on his back … [it's] a February movie dressed up with a coat of summer tentpole paint."

    Empire's Jimi Famurewa is equally unimpressed, describing King Arthur as "a jumbled affair, weighed down by confusing supernatural elements and a lazy reliance on visual effects."

    IndieWire's David Ehrlich does find something noteworthy about the movie, to his credit. "If it weren’t so boring, it would almost be impressive how fast — and how comprehensively — Ritchie and fellow screenwriters Lionel Wigram and Joby Harold are able to make a mess of things," he writes. "This is a movie that, despite boasting the most basic of all possible plots, makes it virtually impossible to understand what’s happening on a minute-to-minute basis."

    At this point, you might be thinking to yourself, "Who would want to see this movie?," to which ScreenCrush's Matt Singer has the best response: "The target audience for his film appears to be people who wish Game of Thrones was less complicated and didn’t have any sex or nudity," he writes.

    Bilge Ebiri of the Village Voice sums up a common response amongst critics. "To be fair, we probably shouldn’t even call this movie a 'take' on the Arthurian legends. Rather, the plot is more like what a 12-year-old who hadn’t done the reading might come up with when called on in class," he writes at one point, before adding, "It’s even more of a shame than usual because there are true sparks of inspiration and wit here, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy much of the movie."

    If there's a common thread to the more positive reviews, it's that very sense of frustration that a movie that contains some good sequences turns out, on balance, to be so disappointing. That's not to say that there aren't positive reviews — The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw says that it "is often surprisingly entertaining […and…] more of a laugh than Antoine Fuqua’s solemn take in 2004" — but even those admit that this is, at best, a wildly uneven feature.

    Perhaps that is the guidance to take from the collective critical mind about King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: that the movie might not necessarily be particularly good — but that doesn't stop it from being enjoyable, if you're looking for that kind of thing.

    King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, clearly a future cult guilty pleasure in the making, bows Friday in theaters.
     
  3. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    Latest trailer....


     
  4. Hux

    Hux Member: Rank 6

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    The David Beckham cameo I saw a clip of made my arse puke.

    And on that basis, I'm out.
     
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  5. Carol

    Carol Member: Rank 5

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    Just because Vinnie Jones kind of worked in Lock, Stock, doesn't mean he should shove a superannuated ball-kicker in everything he makes!
    Oh, for the box set fairy to bring me Arthur of the Britons by overnight delivery...
     
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  6. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    “King Arthur” Was Originally Much Longer


    Guy Ritchie’s films are noted for their fast editing and pace, but his upcoming “King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword” may amp that up.

    Out doing press for the film, its star Charlie Hunnam has revealed to Cinema Blend some of Ritchie’s process for the film and confirmed that the original cut of the movie came in much longer.

    This includes a massive scene in which Arthur and friends recall how they confronted a group of Vikings to their cohort Jack’s Eye (Michael McElhatton) – a sequence that originally was three to four times that which ended up in the final film:

    “What’s also interesting about Guy is that so much of the work that he does happens in the editing room, where there’s this grand reimagining.

    That Jack’s Eye sequence that you’re talking about wasn’t in the original script. There was an effort to condense significantly the first 30 or 40 minutes of the film down to a ten-minute sequence. Because his original cut came in at three and a half hours and we had to trim that down.

    So that was a scene that he designed to facilitate us going in and out and doing a short-hand of 20 scenes that played out in a linear fashion that he wanted to condense down into one montage.”

    While the rough cut of “King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword” may have clocked in at about 210 minutes, the final cut stands at 126 minutes and is slated to hit cinemas tomorrow.
     
  7. Hux

    Hux Member: Rank 6

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    Watch it. Go on watch it. With your eyes. With your god damn eyes!!

     
    • Love it! Love it! x 1
  8. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    I see the Razzies beckoning...... :emoji_joy:
     
  9. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    Looking at it charitably, I guess that the Beckham household needs the money.

    Other than that, yes, I agree Hux. It looks pretty much like crud! :emoji_robot:
     
  10. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    Review: “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”

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    Generic sword & sorcery fantasy wrapped in pseudo-Arthurian legend, Guy Ritchie’s ill-conceived, atonal “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is a frustrating and incoherent mess with the occasional flash of brilliance. Granted, it couldn’t have been worse; if it had been, that would have made it more fun.

    This story is a drastic re-imagining of Arthur’s origins, which is fine and arguably necessary given how exhaustively the character has been covered in media. Unfortunately, Ritchie and co-writers Lionel Wigram and Joby Harold’s choices skew so heavily towards edgy over all else that their take never feels very Arthurian. Arthur-y. Arthur-esque. Whatever.

    This version stars Charlie Hunnam (in a comedown from the recent, excellent “The Lost City of Z”) as the man destined to be King of England, here posited as a Moses-style orphan who comes of age in a Londinium brothel, grows up to become a fixer and street tough, and is unwillingly thrust into political turmoil to become the umpteenth White Guy with Destiny.

    Art is, of course, the offspring of late King Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana), who was betrayed and slain by his brother, Vortigern (Jude Law), who with whom he had fought a war against evil wizards led by Mordred (Rob Knighton). Vortigern sits uneasily upon the throne, well aware that there’s a sword in a stone waiting for the rightful king to wield it against him.

    Others are aware of this, too: Uther’s loyal subordinates Bedivere (Djimon Hounsou) and Goosefat Bill (Aidan Gillen), Vortigern’s aide/handmaiden/concubine – it’s never explained who she is or why we should care – Maggie (Annabelle Wallis), and a creepy young sorceress known only as the Mage (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), lead Arthur and his Ritchiean band of roguish lads by the hand to the movie’s climax – er, destiny. Cliched melodrama, bad CGI, and overblown-yet-uninspired action sequences ensue.

    It’s all an utter crock, made more insufferable by Ritchie’s modernistic go-to moves that just don’t mesh with the material. He is as utterly and completely unsuited for the material as Baz Luhrmann was for “The Great Gatsby” or Zack Snyder is for much of anything.

    Ritchie’s rat-a-tat-tat meta-dialogue and twitchy editing only work in small doses with the right material, and it quickly grows tiresome and distracting here. The wink-wink self-awareness, self-referencing, and heist movie shtick make you wonder if reels from another movie were spliced in by accident.

    The climax is punctuated by a CGI-soaked battle between Arthur and a swole, magically mutated Vortigern in which the camera is in such constant motion that it resembles nothing more than an uninspired boss fight from a bargain bin video game.

    Which is a bummer, because there are moments where the movie makes some truly weird, fresh, off-kilter, and sometimes even batshit crazy choices that show some true creativity. Berges-Frisbey’s accent and strange line delivery lend her character a necessary air of otherworldliness; there is a kooky snake motif throughout that pays off in the final reel; and whatever the hell that tentacled mermaid triplets thing is hanging out in Vortigern’s is genuinely messed-up and disturbing – and utterly cool.

    The real kicker is that “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is intended as the first in a series of several films; it’s hard to imagine that happening now, though one almost wishes it would just to see if the series gets so bad that it actually becomes entertaining.
     
  11. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword' Review: Welcome to a King-Sized Pile of Crap

    Guy Ritchie's loud, loose take on the British monarch and his ass-kicking round table is a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing


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    Director Guy Ritchie can turn London crime dramas into cinematic lightning – think of his breakthrough movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Snatch (2000) and RocknRolla (2008). But apply his fast cuts and jagged pacing to the Arthurian legend and you get, well, a brutal, bleedin' mess. That about sums up King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, an epic bore that believes if you make a movie long and loud and repetitive enough, audiences will conclude it's saying something profound. Wrong.


    Ritchie's take on the once and future king is more a reflection of binge-watching adoration for Game of Thrones, a sense that he fooled the public before with two Sherlock Holmes blockbuster puffballs and his own early experience making music videos for German dance bands. It's a tie for most annoying ingredient: the pounding soundtrack or the nonstop clichés. The filmmaker begins his relentless visual attack by thrusting us into the nonsensical action: A herd of elephants thunder about as King Uther (Eric Bana) finds himself betrayed by his bad-boy bro Vortigern (Jude Law, elegantly slimy). The villain aims to kill the King's young son. Not so fast. The lad is spirited away and raised in a brothel where the whores have hearts of gold and offer countless life lessons.

    It's only when Arthur, played by Charlie Hunnam – much better served these days by The Lost City of Z – manages to pull Excalibur out of a stone that this presumed son of a belle du jour realizes he's meant for bigger and better things. Of course, Vortigern wants him dead. But Arthur gets protection from his mates, with such slangy names as Wet Stick (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Back Lack (Neil Maskell) and Chinese George (Tom Wu). And it's only when he receives next-level help from imposing Bedivere (Djimon Hounsou), Bill the archer (Aidan Gillen, Littlefinger from GoT) and a magical, mindreading creature called the Mage (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) that Arthur starts kicking ass and panting for the crown.

    If you're expecting Camelot, show tunes and an erotic triangle with Quinivere and Lancelot, you're barking up the wrong director. Ritchie loves the clash of armies, and he proceeds to bury our noses in battle for over two punishing, mind-numbing hours. Digital armies do pixelated battle in a manner so generic that they make Nintendo video games seem like the height of sophistication. Talk about sound and fury signifying nothing.
     
  12. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword' review: Charlie Hunnam only decent thing in Guy Ritchie's forgettable trip to Camelot


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    Here’s the good news: Charlie Hunnam is terrific as King Arthur and — in this version of the legend — entirely believable as a streetwise orphan who grows up to reluctantly embrace his destiny.

    And here’s the bad news: the movie is a mess.

    It’s a mess graced by a few terrific sequences, but a mess nonetheless.

    The first cut of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was three and a half hours long, according to filmmaker Guy Ritchie, and frankly, that’s the version we’d like to see.

    Getting the movie down to two hours seems to have involved editing out all connective tissue.

    What’s left is spectacle, almost entirely uninterrupted by storytelling. You can feast your eyes on giant elephants or hideous serpentine sea creatures, take in brutal hand-to-hand combat or watch elaborate battle scenes with swashing and buckling and fiery weapons galore.

    Now if you could only figure out what the hell was going on...

    It’s like Game of Thrones meets Survivor, and not in a good way; worse yet, the 3D element makes some segments so murky that you can’t discern what’s happening.

    Ritchie encapsulates lengthy history with flashy fast-forward élan — Arthur growing up, for example — and while it’s eye-catching and clever, it’s not emotionally engaging.

    The movie begins with just such a shorthand segment, attempting to bring viewers up to speed, but in this case the overall effect is confusion. Where there should be character development, emotional investment and so on, there’s just more stuff to look at.

    To wit: Here’s Jude Law chewing the scenery as the villainous Vortigern, killing off those he loves to appease various evil entities; Astrid Berges-Frisbey turns up as a sylphlike Mage, capable of using her wizardry powers on the animal kingdom; Eric Bana looks cool (briefly) as King Uther and Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Freddie Fox, Tom Wu, Neil Maskll et al are sidekicks, helpers, fight instructors, buddies and other interchangeable background characters.

    You so won't care.

    That’s a lot of wasted talent.
     
  13. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    “King Arthur” Expected To Lose $150M


    The final opening weekend numbers are in for Guy Ritchie’s “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” with the film pulling in just $15.4 million domestically – one of the lowest domestic openings of all time for a big-budget major studio title.

    Overseas, where historical action epics often fare better, the forecast wasn’t much better with a dismal $29.1 million haul from 51 markets – including just $5 million in China.

    The combination of medieval fantasy with dudebro gangster stylings appealed to no-one essentially, and at a production budget cost of $175 million to Warners, Village Roadshow and RatPac-Dune Entertainment – the damage is going to be bad.

    Heat Vision reports that according to box-office experts, the film isn’t likely to earn more than $145 million globally, much of that from overseas where the studio cut of the take is less.

    As a result, the loss is estimated to climb to as much as $150 million for the various partners. That would make it the biggest bomb of the year to date, beating family-friendly “Monster Trucks” in January which saw Paramount take a $125 million write-down.

    Due to regime changes, multiple behind-the-scenes comings and goings, and multiple delays, the performance of “King Arthur” wasn’t expected to be great considering the failure of the likes of “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” last year and Warners struggling with fantasy IP after both “Pan” and “Jack the Giant Slayer” bombed big time.

    Warners has a rosier outlook ahead for the rest of the Summer though with both “Wonder Woman” and Chris Nolan’s “Dunkirk” on the way.
     
  14. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    The fall of Camelot: how Guy Ritchie's King Arthur became a $175 million box office bomb

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    The last reboot of King Arthur courted controversy for digitally enhancing the breasts of its female lead, Keira Knightley, on the official poster. You’ll probably remember that snafu, as it’s the only thing anybody actually remembers about 2004’s flop reimagining of the ancient myth. But despite the fact that Clive Owen medieval vehicle made only $50 million at the global box office (budget: $120 million), Warner Bros. bent over backwards to make another film inspired by the story.

    Similarly, despite the box office kryptonite of many a recent swords-and-sandals epic, from Warcraft to Ben-Hur to Pompeii, the beleaguered studio pressed ahead with their $175 million Guy Ritchie-directed reboot, which opened to an impressively low $14.7 million at the US box office over the weekend. So how did such an expensive summer spectacle end up grossing less than the second weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and a movie which sees Amy Schumergetting chased around the jungle with her mum?


    Somewhat inevitably, the flopping of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword appears to stem from the usual Marvel-era Hollywood source: the lure of a potential ‘shared universe’ franchise, wherein every bit of available intellectual property can be mined, extended and spread out over multiple films, which all congeal into one big super-ensemble film at a later date -- à la The Avengers.

    Warner Bros. were particularly eager to spark their own King Arthur universe, initially earmarking Bryan Singer for an Excalibur remake, before landing on Arthur & Lancelot -- a fantasy script by David Dobkin, director of Wedding Crashers. Arthur & Lancelot came very close to starting production, until it was abruptly axed from Warner’s development slate.


    Joel Kinnaman, of The Killing and Suicide Squad fame, was initially cast as Lancelot, while a who’s-who of British B-listers were invited to screen test for Arthur, among them Sam Claflin, Kit Harington and Jim Sturgess. While Harington eventually scored that part, Warner Bros. reportedly got cold feet as to mounting a potentially fruitful franchise off the back of two relative unknowns -- Game of Thrones was only just starting its second season, after all. Attempts to cut back the $130 million budget were rejected, so rather the studio decided to drop both actors in favour of bigger names. But despite efforts to woo Colin Farrell and James McAvoy, both ended up turning the project down. Gary Oldman was also in the mix to play Lancelot.


    Development on Arthur & Lancelot went quiet after that, until 2014 saw Warner Bros. approach Guy Ritchie, who had previously attempted to develop a King Arthur reimagining based on a script by Trainspotting writer John Hodge. Since the Arthur & Lancelot debacle, Warner Bros. had been distracted by a new pitch by writer Joby Harold, who had envisioned turning King Arthur into a six-film ‘shared universe’ franchise, with separate movies for Arthur, Lancelot and additional characters, who would all eventually come together in their own shared movie.



    Ritchie jumped on board, but Warner Bros. reportedly began drifting further and further away from Harold’s fantastical vision for the franchise. Instead they began to fold in elements from other King Arthur scripts that had previously been in development (David Dobkin gets a “Story by” credit on the finished film), creating a strange Frankenstein’s Monster-style screenplay that is reportedly very difficult to follow. “Just sticking with the plot soaks up every ounce of concentration you have,” our critic Robbie Collin declared.

    Charlie Hunnam was the first name to sign on the dotted line, after being personally chased for the part by Ritchie, but Warner Bros. had problems securing additional talent. Idris Elba dropped out of negotiations to play a “wise mentor to Arthur”, only to be replaced by Djimon Hounsou, who has been playing second fiddle to interchangeable white men for the better part of his career. Elizabeth Olsen also backed out of the female lead role, replaced by relative French unknown Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey.


    Production on the film began in 2014, with Warner Bros. scheduling it for summer 2016. But following disastrous test screenings, the film was pushed to February 2017 to accommodate reshoots. Then that release date was further scrapped, King Arthur finally hitting cinemas last weekend in the USA. It’ll hit UK shores this Friday, awkwardly after a week of negative press related to its dismal opening weekend in the US.


    Despite earning barely 10% of its budget in its opening days and even underperforming in China, the usual last-ditch hope to turn US flops into international hits, reaction from those who actually went to see King Arthur appears to be positive. It currently holds an A- CinemaScore from audiences (compiled via exit polling at selected US screenings) while, just a few weeks ago, Warner Bros. proudly boasted that they were increasing the amount of free preview screenings for the film after 150 participating cinemas recorded sell-outs. But, in hindsight, it looks like all those eager fans who saw the film for free may have been the only people who would have been willing to actually pay for it.



    King Arthur’s box office performance has already been an important lesson for major Hollywood players, however, who have decided to ease back on spending extortionate amounts of money on long-in-the-tooth existing properties and instead focus on diverse, low-budget, low-risk original ideas, like the critically-adored, staggeringly successful Get Out. Only joking, of course they haven’t.

    “Old [intellectual property] is the most valuable s--- in the world,” an anonymous producer told Deadline. “Sure, God bless original stuff, but these classic brands are timeless.”

    Mirroring the long development process of King Arthur, rival studios are currently developing a total of seven different versions of Robin Hood, despite the flopping of Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood in 2010. As for Guy Ritchie, he’s already started work on his next project: a live-action remake of Disney’s Aladdin.
     
  15. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    How David Beckham Wound Up In King Arthur - The Graham Norton Show



     

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