Reel Shorts | King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

by Monica Hayes

Thought to be the bastard son of a prostitute and raised hard on the streets, Arthur Pendragon’s life took a turn he never expected in Guy Ritchie’s version of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

The adventure begins with an epic battle where King Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) defeats a sorcerer with Excalibur while his jealous brother Vortigern (Jude Law) looks on. We next see Vortigern conspiring to kill Uther and his family so he could take the thrown for himself. Believing he has cleared the path to the throne, Vortigern set out to become the most ruthless and feared King. That is until Excalibur reveals itself. Now Vortigern must find Arthur and destroy him before he can lay rightful claim to the throne.

Meanwhile, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam), who has grown up in a brothel has made a name for himself as a kindhearted boss who takes care of the common folk. His world is turned upside down when he collects payment from a Viking for hurting one of the girls in the brothel. Unbeknownst to Arthur, this Viking just so happened to be under the protection of the King. When the King’s soldiers come to collect him for attacking the Viking, Arthur runs out the back window, but his freedom is short-lived. He is confronted by a second set of unsuspecting King soldiers, who then force him to board a boat full of young men that are the right age to test Excalibur.

Once they arrive at the island, Arthur quickly becomes bored with the situation and muscles his way to the front of the line to pull the sword from the rock. When he tried to pull out the sword with one hand, he feels a strange force surge through him. Using both hands, he pulls the sword out, but it sends a force through him so strong that it knocks him out. The rest is history.

King Arthur reminds you of Sons of Anarchy plus Game of Thrones and Sherlock Holmes, sprinkled with a little hint of Marvel comics all rolled into one. Yes, Jax time warped back to the Middle Ages, traded his Harley for a horse, his cut for a leather bomber, his piece for a sword and conducted business as usual – and Mr. Mayhem even shows up. In typical Ritchie fashion, the dry wit and humor are abundant as well as the rapid CGI and sometimes blurry fight scenes. Oh, and a crazy chase scene that looked like Go-Pros were attached to their shoulders. Not to mention the Sherlock Holmes-ish describing what will happen before it does i.e. “left with 2 broken ribs and inability to spit on the back of one’s head.”

Ritchie’s King Arthur keeps you engaged and is fun to watch all the mythical creatures and different spells. Which is a good thing, as this genre has the potential to put you in a deep coma. It will make you laugh, crack jokes and say Yea right! Since when did they say “Bollocks” back then? This is not a break your neck on opening night movie, but worth checking out.

Grade: C+