Movie Review(King Arthur)...
'Let me sing with inspirationOf the man born of two nations,Of Rome and of Britain...... Arthur the blessedLed his assault from the Great Wall...'
by the 6th century Welsh poet, Taliesin
Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day), this version of the King Arthur tale claims to be “the untold true story that inspired the legend”. Starring Clive Owen (Croupier, The Bourne Identity) as the titular hero, Fuqua attempts to separate the man from the myth, with varying degrees of success. A man of Roman and British parentage, Artorious is sent on one last mission with his knights Lancelot, Galahad, Bors, Tristan, Dagonet and Gawain, in order to receive their discharge papers, and well deserved freedom. As the Saxon army is steadily progressing toward Hadrian’s Wall, the Romans decide to retreat from Britain, giving Arthur and his knights the option to return to Rome or their ancestral homeland in Sarmatia. Indigenous guerilla armies
called 'Woads' see themselves as the true rulers of Britain, devastated by generations of Roman rule.
Despite some inventive action set pieces, including a battle atop a frozen lake, King Arthur is ultimately nothing more than an exercise in mediocrity. Clive Owen sleepwalks his way through what could have been a breakout role, while Keira Knightley as Guinevere is given surprisingly little to do, despite covering most of the film’s poster. Obviously the marketing department decided to try to capitalise on her ‘next-big-thing’ status. By far, the standout character is Ray Winstone’s knight Bors, providing occasional comic relief, a welcome alternative to the gloomy tone. Stephen Dillane’s brief screen time as Merlin is effective if inconsequential.
No doubt inhibited by a 15PG certificate, the battle scenes are mostly stale and uninventive ‘Braveheart’ clones. The complete lack of crucial conviction from the actors is the films real downfall. Uninspiring locales, average performances and a lead character drowned out by plot exposition also contribute.
From the moment the heavily worded prologue appears on screen, you will most likely experience that unshakable feeling of deja vous.
2.5 out of 5