out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4
You probably don't wake up thinking that what you'd really like to do is see a
rousing rendition of the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round
Table. So, if you do go to such a film, you expect to be motivated as to why
you should care. KING ARTHUR, the lamest blockbuster in some time, is from
producer Jerry Bruckheimer (BAD BOYS II) and is directed by one-hit wonder
Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY). This lackluster movie, which is anything but
rousing, never gives you any reason whatsoever to care about it. David
Franzoni's confusing script will have you still baffled when you leave the
theater, having never been able to figure out exactly who is fighting whom
about what. The various groups vary only in their relative levels of hygiene,
with the dirtiest generally, but not always, being the most despicable.
This version of the story sets the action in 467 A.D., as Rome is evacuating
Britain, leaving the Saxons in control. Or at least I think that is what is
happening. It is never really quite clear. In a film in which none of the
casting works, Clive Owen (CROUPIER) is given the thankless job of being
Arthur. Owen tries and fails to be a cross between Kenneth Branagh in HENRY V
and Russell Crowe in GLADIATOR. Keira Knightley plays Guinevere as a tough
archer who is one of the best fighters on any field of battle. We learn that
all the archers back then were incredibly skilled, with every arrow, from no
matter how far away, making it directly into the heart of its intended victim.
Before each battle, in a scene that must have been cut, the warriors
undoubtedly estimated the size of their opposition and made up an exactly equal
number of arrows in order to save materials. No need to create unnecessary
You'll be wishing that one of those arrows would come out of the screen and
strike you as you stare at your watch, which will seem to be moving in slow
motion. This energyless production makes the fights feel long and tedious.
And when the knights aren't battling, they make some of the smallest small talk
that you've ever had to endure.
The movie fakes you out. At the hour-and-a-half mark, one of the knights tells
you, "Hey, you're free!" Relived, you begin to get up when you realize he's
talking to someone on the screen and that you are still a prisoner for another
half hour -- and longer still if you are a glutton for punishment and want to
stay through all of the credits.
KING ARTHUR runs a long 2:06. It is rated PG-13 for "intense battle sequences,
a scene of sensuality and some language" and would be acceptable for kids
around 10 and up.
My son Jeffrey, age 15, thought the film was a "bomb" and gave it just 1/2 of a
star. He complained that there was no character building and no believable
action. Overall, he said that the movie just never gave him any reason to care
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes
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