King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (12A) | Close-Up Film Review

Director: Guy Ritchie, UK, 2016, 126 mins.

Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Jude Law, Eric Bana, Djimon Hounsou

Review by Carlie Newman

Some critics have been rather nose-stuck-in-the-air about King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. It’s true that it’s no masterpiece but Guy Ritchie has given us a lively, well-photographed film with lots of action and some well-known faces in small roles.

Jude Law plays Vortigern, the villainous brother of the good King, Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana). Vortigern defeats Uther Pendragon, but baby Arthur I saved and looked after by ladies of the night (or should that be knight?). Ritchie names the place Londinium and Arthur grows up to be handsome Charlie Hunnam who, as an adult, is pursued by his wicked uncle. But Arthur has his own group of supporters who include Aiden Gillen as his friend Bill and Djimon Hounsou as Bedivere.

When Arthur is able to pull the famous sword from the equally famous stone it is time for all-out war between the good lot led by young Arthur and Vortigern and his ‘bad’ lot. We miss Merlin and instead are given the Mage (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) whose eyes change colour as she conjures up ways to save Arthur. David Beckham plays…David Beckham in costume; same face, dressed differently and he is okay in his tiny one scene part. The movie is directed by Guy Ritchie who himself appears in a very amusing scene where he plays the irritated owner of a house. While Charlie Hunnam looks good as Arthur, he is a somewhat blank actor, but he is not called upon to do over much. Jude Law is a real actor and often seems to be emoting in a different film altogether.

It is a jolly film. Always lively with lots of movement and scenes of high adventure. This is a tongue in cheek version of part of the Arthurian legend and Ritchie is enough of a craftsman to deliver it in an amusing and most watchable manner.