Guy Ritchie can’t do the fast-slow-fast-slow thing in every film. Like everything else he’s done, KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD is grey and self-serious but with breaks for “banter”. There are modern street clothes, dialect and hairstyles in the pre-medieval period, a cheeky cockney hero (Charlie Hunnam, sleep-walking) going up against an evil geezer (Jude Law, gritting his teeth). Much like the equally wobbly WARCRAFT, the film’s take on magic – dangerous, unpredictable, elemental – is interesting. Everything else is a grab-bag of things we’ve seen before, and better, elsewhere. We might have once plunged deeper into this world and learned its rules, but any concrete explanations for what is going on and why is kept on the periphery, whether it once existed and was excised for pacing or not. Whatever the reason for the film’s choppiness, we’re unlikely to return for a sequel, which I’m fine with. SSP
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Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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