Legend of the Sword tries a different approach. It combines epic
battles and scary monsters with a whole lot of irreverence, freely
riffing on the legend according to the demands of exciting cinema.
That’s not a bad idea; a bad idea is getting Guy Ritchie to attempt
this. Ritchie’s method of ‘mixing things up’ is the opposite of
originality, as it involves retelling stories as though they were
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, his dorm-room-favourite
Arthur (amiably played by Charlie Hunnam) is re-imagined as a
cheeky chappy brothel-owner, the leader of a ragtag group of thieving
marksman rebels. It’s a character-switch that suggests not only an
ongoing aristo fascination with working-class heroes, but also that
Ritchie has no qualms about borrowing heavily from a different
example of English folklore: Robin Hood. Perhaps he should have also
thrown in elements of James Bond, Love, Actually and The
Archers, and made an ultimate map of the national psyche.
of Hamlet in King Arthur at least. Arthur doesn’t
know it, but he is of noble blood: his father (a typically doomed
Eric Bana) was king of England before he was usurped by his wicked
Uncle Vortigern (Jude Law, chomping scenery). An encounter with the
sword in the stone soon alerts Vortigern to Arthur’s status as the
Chosen One destined to defeat him, and things move predictably from
there, with the addition of a few magical creatures.
distinctly like Harry Potter, come to think of it. And perhaps the
inclusion of a David Beckham cameo clinches it: Guy Ritchie is
trying to draw the ultimate map to the national psyche. Well, his
timing couldn’t be more perfect. If only the map wasn’t totally
confusing, murky, and seemingly conceived by a 12-year-old.
|What||King Arthur: Legend of the Sword review:|
19 May 17 – 30 Jun 17, Show times vary
|Price||£Determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here for more information|