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Review of the Film King Arthur

Published July 7, 2004 in MOVIE REVIEW
By Ryan Parsons | Campus Resource

To start, this movie has some of the coolest looking knights I have ever seen. Every major character is truly awesome in stature and style. However, this was not enough to make the film, King Arthur, anything to remember after leaving the theatre.

Even though this film offers up a nice serving of action and entertainment, it fails to encompass its viewer from a lack of character build or story.

The Story
The film, King Arthur, supposedly covers the 'true story' behind King Arthur and his noble knights. The film does not accomplish any of this as there is really no story at all; the film rather covered a single event or weekend at best. The only attempt to have any back-story involves a poorly done segment where Arthur 'forces' a flash back of his childhood where we see him take the sword, Excaliber, from his father's grave.

The film actually begins with Arthur serving as a noble knight to Rome as it occupies Britian [Arthur's homeland]. There is a pre-curser to the film that explains that the knights of Britain, along with their children, are sworn to alliegance to Rome that they must fulfill by serving for fifteen years. Hence, we find Arthur and his knights closing out their terms of service and getting ready for ordinary life away from the battlefield. However, they must complete one last quest [a quest that the entire movie is about] in order to save some Roman noblekid and introduce a starved Keira Knightley to the scene.

The quest forces Arthur to confront raiding Saxons who are attempting to take Britain for their own. Therefore, the quest ensues, the forces meet, and a big battle begins and ends.

The Film
I particularily enjoyed the beginning of the film more than the end. At this point we are introduced to some of the coolest looking knights I have yet to see on film with an idea of each ones personalities. However, none of the knights really have a story but the fact they have been hanging out with Arthur, killing for Rome.

As the film continues the viewer is made to realize that Arthur is the ultimate knight in that he is extremely noble and is more than willing to sacrifice himself for a better cause. And, just as the rest of his knights, this is where his story remains as well since there is very little additional input on who Arthur is or where he came from.

In the end, the film has some cool action sequences, a cool cast, and Keira Knightley. The conclusion of King Arthur, one which reminded me a lot of Troy, is a simple narration puting a quick end to the story of King Arthur and his knights. The film is worth seeing for what it is but can be easily forgotten after you leave the movie theatre.

The Cast
The cast was easily the largest strength to this film. Besides a few common faces, the set is made up of almost entirely fresh or unseen actors [which was actually kind of refreshing]. Clive Owen, who I first encountered in the Bourne Identity and the BMW films, played the character of King Arthur. I would assume that most of the movie-going public have yet to see Clive in a starring role such as this. Clive is accompanied by other actors such as Hugh Dancy, Ioan Gruffudd, Mads Mikkelsen, Joel Edgerton, Ray Winstone, and Ray Stevenson. All of whom fit their roles extremely well with each actor offering a unique look to being a knight in the Dark Ages. The two coolest being Joel Edgerton [Gawain] and Mads Mikkelsen [Tristan] as they are definately the most distinct of the knights.

Even the bad guys are cool. Stellan Skarsgård [played an impressive role as leader of the Saxons, Cedric] and Til Schweiger [Cynric] were a great addition to the group of cool looking bad-asses.

Maybe the casting agent will pick up these guys again for another movie with an even better script, enabling them to really shine.


Final Judgement: If you want some mild entertainment go see King Arthur, at least if you have already seen Spider-Man 2. The film has a few perks but not enough to engross its viewers. B-

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