King Arthur: Legend of the Sword movie review – The music carries the film
Chances are, you'll leave the theatre feeling quite cool, pumped up, almost convinced that the film you just watched is great. But that's not the case, for the real hero in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword isn't the story, the script, or even the stars. It's Daniel Pemberton's music coupled with Guy Ritchie's typical slow-fast fight scenes, a comedy of death, decay, but nothing particularly heinous (think Sherlock Holmes).
Sample this trailer, for instance. Without sound, it's a bunch of scenes we've seen in different films, maybe aesthetically a little more pleasing. But turn up the volume and you have Led Zeppelin quickly rearranging your perspective, pulling you in, leaving you curious.
The story starts with Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana), a kind, merciful king and his family, warning his brother Vortigern (Jude Law) against warfare. But brother betrays brother, and soon, Uther's little boy Arthur finds himself fleeing from the castle, wrapped up in fur, on a boat befitting his small frame.
Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) grows up in a brothel, posing as a bastard son and protector of the establishment. His father leaves behind a sword (yes, the one with the legend) that only his heir i.e. this nifty little boy can control.
Arthur isn't alone, as he's accompanied by a bunch of cool people who help him out, till the very end.
Bill (Aidan Gillen) can shoot from really far. Like really, really far. The Mage (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), the only woman in this motley crew, can control animals and basically wreck havoc. Barring the amazing properties of the sword, and that Arthur can control it, he really has no impressive skills. And believably so.
But apparently, the true leader is one who “doesn't look away”. As long as Arthur can make that happen, he's their king.
The movie is entertaining, especially in 3D, with piercingly sharp objects coming at the viewer. There are giant snakes, bats, underwater humanoid creatures, trees that look like people, and just a general air of constant movement, which keeps the viewer hooked.
Visually, King Arthur is a treat to watch, not because it's unusual or never-seen-before. But because it's the usual fare done a bit more aesthetically and sometimes, in deliciously deviant ways.
There's a certain allure to the aesthetics Ritchie brings, and because the fairly straight-jacketed story doesn't come in the way, it works better. Had King Arthur been any more complex, the special effects would have come across as gimmicky.
Should you watch it?
We don't see why not. The film is an all-out entertainer, with some great music. Unless you're paying an exorbitant rate for your tickets, this one makes for a good weekend watch with friends.