I had a conversation earlier in the day about what kind of twist this new version of King Arthur would have for us. There is always a way the story unfolds a little differently then the legend we were all told as children. I was not at all prepared for the Guy Ritchie version though.
The movie had a rhythm that was hard to catch. The opening was overly long, trying a little too hard to prepare the audience for what was to come. Period costumes, magic, and sword play don't mesh well with the "gangster" theme Ritchie is known for. It's an ok mash up. Imagine a cross between Robin Hood and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, combined with a general sword in the stone story line and you have the feature film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
King Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) felt more like Robin Hood then a king. Leading what felt more like merry men than knights of the round table into battle to save the kingdom. Among his compatriots, my favorite was Sir Bedivere played by Djimon Hounsou. He managed to ground the group as well as provide plenty of humor. Aiden Gillen played Goosefat Bill, a character who had talent with a bow and arrow. His familiarity as a Game of Thrones actor implies that there was probably going to be a lot of death in this film and not to get to attached to any specific character.
The real heart of the film was of course a kid, Blue (Bleu Landau), who was adorable, charming, and brave. I thought I would relate best to Astrid Berges-Frisbey who played the mage, ( as she was the only heroine in the film with more than three scenes), but I found her kind of flat and underdeveloped. Her purpose in the film was of the one dimensional variety, to propel the hero onward and provide magical special effects. Richie isn't known for having an abundance of strong female characters, so it wasn't a huge surprise that King Arthur lacks them too.
There wasn’t much that was theater worthy about the film. There were some interesting sound effects that might not work as well in your living room, but nothing spectacular. My recommendation is to watch it on your couch. In the end the film had more style than substance but it was a style worth watching, albeit at home.