It all sounded so good on paper.
Director Guy Ritchie, who reimagined Sherlock Holmes as a smart scrapper starring Robert Downey Jr., wanted to do a fresh take on the King Arthur legend. He cast Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam as the born king, raised in a brothel on the mean streets of medieval Londinium.
Then Ritchie got Jude Law to play the self-hating evil mage king Vortigern. Plus there would be Iron Age street fights, giant monsters, and swords! How could it go wrong? Yeah, about that…
The frustrating thing about watching King Arthur Legend of the Sword is that you can almost reconstruct the perfectly decent movies it could have been. Ritchie has a great visual style, Hunnam is fun as this new version of Arthur who grew up as a city rat instead of a farm boy, and Law can chew scenery like nobody’s business.
But in almost every scene, the action is undermined by weird edits that turn the whole affair into the narrative equivalent of four-year-old holiday fruitcake.
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