Sunday, May 14, 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

I went to see this movie for two reasons: I'm a sucker for director/co-writer Guy Ritchie's style, and I'm generally a fan of King Arthur stories. I entered the theater more than a little concerned, though, because critics had widely panned the film. As of this writing, for example, its Rottentomatoes scores are 27% for critics--but 78% for the audience.

I stand with the audience. Yes, the movie is a hot mess with a heavy measure of social commentary applied entirely too liberally, but the style is classic Ritchie, the soundtrack is spot on, the key cast members chew just the right amount of scenery, and the sets are wonderful.

The story borrows from the classic legend only what the writers felt like taking, which is to say that if you're expecting this film to fit well in the Arthurian canon, you will be quite disappointed. If you're willing to let it play out, though, and if you can accept Arthur as yet another kid with special talents raised rough on the street, then you'll have a grand time.

As is my way, I wanted the movie to work, so I had a fine time with it.

Of course, like most movies these days, this one's story requires you not to think too hard at any turn, because key elements stretch your disbelief to the breaking point, but if you're willing to do that, you'll enjoy it.

I recommend the film with those caveats and must admit that I enjoyed it. It will and not should win awards, but it's a fine summer flick with a decent heart.

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