My lovely sister in law gets free film tickets which she sometimes give to me and Ma. This week there wasn’t much on so we went to see Arthur: Legend of the Sword. We knew it would be bad, but I was hopeful that it would be good bad.
It was not.
Where to start with it’s problems. First up, it doesn’t know what story it’s trying to tell and there was too much skipping over things, Arthur’s childhood, why Mordred and Vortigen allied and wanted to overthrow the kingdom (also both Mordred and Vortigen are in the wrong generations), what happened to the mages and Merlin- they’ve been slaughtered but one pops up to help – are they in France maybe? as the mage that does turn up is French. What happened to Uther’s ‘loyal’ knights, we see two of them but how do they leave, form the resistance etc, there is a whole plot like about one of them and a vendetta with the leader of the guards which is never properly explained and as it gets the ‘heros’ into trouble at one point it should have been. Arthur’s trip through the badlands was a whole movie in itself. I personally wanted to know how the ladies of the brothel came to be running it.
There is too much going on and none of it is coherrent…
There are other troubling questions raised by the film. The time travelling Vikings for example. The size of ‘Londinium’ – yes really, Arthur’s accent which is too northern for a child raised in ‘Londinium’ but isn’t quite sure where in the north to locate itself, sometimes Manchester, sometimes Liverpool and sometimes ‘I don’t know where’. Why there is a kung fu school in London. Where the ‘badlands’ are – my best guess Wales. The distance between Camelot and ‘Londinium’, the cliffs of Camelot, the size of Camelot. The bridges in London that have houses on them (not in the dark ages). The clothes which can’t settle on any kind of internal consistency of time period. The Nazi salutes of the bad guy. The King of all England (yeah right) and an army of 100,000 (erm…)
The saddest thing about the film was that it took itself too seriously. If it had approached any of this with a lightness of touch (think Alan Rickman in Prince of Thieves) but it was trying too hard to be a Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones thing and it was funny but in all the wrong places…
So people, don’t go and see this even if it’s free. Just don’t. I haven’t been this appalled by a film since I saw the last Indiana Jones film. However, I’m pretty sure this must have been the subject of an epic Mark Kermode rant. So there is a bright side…..