Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Charlie Hunnam as a Cockney King Arthur
  A few days ago I was asked by a national newspaper in England to write a review of Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword, which I had seen in New York. 
  Although I'm reluctant to turn down work I refused this commission because I hated the movie so much. Writing a bad review doesn't usually bother me but in this case I thought perhaps I was at fault and had misjudged the movie because the audience I saw it with cheered, clapped and seemed to love it.
Guy Ritchie: I didn't tell him what I thought
  But now other reviews have come out and most critics disliked it as much as I did. So although I feel vindicated in my judgment, I am also kicking myself for not having had the courage of my convictions and written what I thought.   
 What I particularly disliked were Ritchie's manic cutting; the continual battles, some for no obvious reason; the Cockney crew surrounding Charlie Hunnam's King Arthur. And Hunnam himself.
   Here are some of the reviews, with which I totally agree:

   “Ritchie and his regular editor James Herbert cut up the action scenes with the desperation of the life of the party who’s secretly afraid to go home to his empty apartment,” writes TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde. “‘King Arthur’ seems constantly panicked that the audience’s attention span won’t last another second, so each moment is a frenzy of sight and sound (particularly Daniel Pemberton’s emphatically percussive score), and the ultimate effect is more exhausting than exhilarating,” he added.

  And Evan Saathoff, Birth.Movies.Death:

“If you have problems with ‘Refusal of the Call’ heroes, this movie is going to be rough for you. Hunnam’s Arthur has no interest in the sword and yanks it only at the end of another. It takes him almost the entire movie to wield it because it gets into his brain and makes him relive his parents’ deaths whenever he tries. (You will see Arthur’s mom get killed more than in all the Batman movies combined.) Even when the film is near its final act, he’s throwing the thing away.”

And Matt Singer, ScreenCrush:
“Ritchie’s ‘King Arthur’ values style and cool over everything else, and the results, which are handsome but trite, reflect that. At least the ‘Sherlock’s had extremely charismatic lead performances from Robert Downey Jr.; despite his rugged features, a sweet shearling vest, and a physique that would make a crossfit model jealous, Charlie Hunnam isn’t in Downey’s league, and his legion of ten or so sidekicks have maybe three personality traits between them.”

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