Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey
Release Date: August 8, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy…whether he likes it or not.
Filmmaker Guy Ritchie brings his unique style to the classic tale in ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ as we accompany Arthur (Hunnam) the kind and rightful heir to the throne, even if he wants no part in it. Unable to ignore the truth any longer once Arthur is miraculously able to remove the infamous sword Excalibur from the stone, he soon finds himself thrust into a world of magic and constant danger as he and his traveling companions prepare and begin making their way to the inevitable confrontation between Arthur and the deadly, dark magic utilizing pretender king (Law) who will stop at nothing to retain the title and throne that be believes he has rightfully earned, and the terrible truths that must be confronted before things can be truly set right.
Directed by talented filmmaker Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes) from a screenplay he additionally co-wrote with Joby Harold (Awake) and Lionel Wigram (Ritchie’s 2015 ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’), Ritchie does a great job at the helm of ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ bringing his unique fast paced style and familiar speedy jumping between moments to the tale while guiding along the action and spectacle without any real trouble. The film also owes some credit to the cast which features a number of talented folks and includes Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim), Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Astrid Bergès-Frisbey (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Djimon Hounsou (Furious 7), Aidan Gillen (TV’s Game of Thrones), Geoff Bell (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and Eric Bana (Munich) along with more, the majority delivering more than capable performances in each of their respective roles.
‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ offers a witty, fast paced and stylish adaption of the classic tale. While it may not stay too close to the source material, it allows for a new and somewhat more modern (in tone, not the film’s time placement) approach to the tale of the legendary King to be and the destiny he couldn’t ignore even if he wanted to. Utilizing Guy Ritchie’s unique style of fast paced jumping and cuts between random scenes, the film always follows its own beat as it keeps straight on its given path while allowing fast paced jumps back (and forward) in time to help better distinguish or explain many elements within. Many will likely be somewhat troubled by its tendency to ignore much of the famous storyline, yet for those who can disregard the fact and appreciate the film’s attempt to try and keep classic elements while brandishing it into something relatively new and updated without sacrificing the basics, it should prove to be an incredibly fun ride that should have no trouble repeatedly plastering a grin on your face. Guided along its fast, jumpy path by notable filmmaker Guy Ritchie as only he can so splendidly do and further complimented by capable performances from a solid cast led by Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law. I would definitely urge hardcore fans of Guy Ritchie and/or Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law and the other talented cast members to give ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ a shot when you have the opportunity to do so, along with anyone who is already even mildly interested in the film. It may not be perfect, but it certainly manages to deliver one wildly fun ride that is well worth checking out.
Overall, ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ is a fast paced, visually spectacular and just flat out enjoyable new approach to the classic story with that wonderfully jumpy and high speed style that filmmaker Guy Ritchie excels at. Further boosted by solid performances from a well selected cast led by Charlie Hunnam in the title role, it’s a witty, wildly fun and action packed flick that many probably won’t want to miss out on. While it may have a few flaws and certainly isn’t a perfect or groundbreaking piece of cinema, I would still definitely recommend ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ to any fans of the classic tale, as well as to diehard fanatics of director Guy Ritchie and/or the talented cast members. It’s likely to have no trouble proving itself worthy of your time and the cost of a rental for anyone at all interested in the film to begin with.
The Blu-ray release of ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great in most respects and offers a clean, sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish with no notable faults to be found along the way. It holds up impressively even during the numerous fast moving and darkly lit sequences, never allowing anything occurring on screen to become distorted or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a more than capable high definition video presentation from Warner Bros. that should have no trouble satisfying the fans and casual viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a perfect complement to the overall viewing experience, delivering a crisp, clean and often quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send a plethora of action and magic related auditory effects zipping throughout the various speakers, in addition to crowd chatter, nature elements and more, while always making certain that any dialogue or other activity that may be occurring simultaneously remains clean and fully audible at all times. Overall, this is a wonderful Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that contributes plenty of fun in itself and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ includes a collection of behind the scenes Featurettes that take you deeper into bringing various aspects of the film to life, including behind the scenes footage, interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Arthur with Swagger’ (running approximately 10 minutes in length), ‘Sword From The Stone’ (running approximately 19 minutes), ‘Parry and Bleed’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘Building on the Past’ (14 minutes), ‘Inside the Cut: The Action of King Arthur’ (6 minutes), ‘Camelot in 93 Days’ (10 minutes), ‘Legend of Excalibur’ (6 minutes) and ‘Scenic Scotland’ (6 minutes).