reviewed by: Pamela Gardner
being robbed of one’s birthright
the trauma of witnessing the murder of one’s parents
difficulties of growing up without parents—and in an exceedingly sinful environment
lust for power
fantasy sorcery and magic
What is the Occult? Answer
Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video disc, you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem?
Charlie Hunnam … Arthur
Astrid Bergès-Frisbey … The Mage
Jude Law … Vortigern
Djimon Hounsou … Bedivere
Eric Bana … Uther
Aidan Gillen … Bill
Freddie Fox … Rubio
Craig McGinlay … Percival
Tom Wu … George
Kingsley Ben-Adir … Wet Stick
Neil Maskell … Back Lack
Annabelle Wallis … Maggie
Zac Barker … Young Arthur 2 yrs
Oliver Zac Barker (Oliver Barker) … Young Arthur 2 years
David Beckham … Trigger
Anna Brooks Beckman (Anna Brooks-Beckman) … Woman 2
|Director:||Guy Ritchie—“Sherlock Holmes” (2009), “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (2015)|
Village Roadshow Pictures
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
What drives you! Destiny, Quest for power, Family, Fame!
King Arthur opens with a great battle underway and King Pendragon (Eric Bana) bravely and virtuously fights again a sinister dark evil using a powerful sword—Excalibur. We learn his brother Vortigern (Jude Law) is responsible for the disturbance and despises his brother the King so much that he is willing to sacrifice everything for his chance to rule.
Sensing something afoot, the King grabs his wife and young son Arthur and flees, only to be ambushed by a dark menacing figure that challenges the king to fight the king the sword the source of all his power. The sword is used to conquer evil forces. Despite his efforts, the father is unable to defeat the evil figure. The Queen and King are both murdered, while their son watches.
Arthur escapes on a boat and is discovered by a group of prostitutes. They take Arthur in, raising him in their brothel.
With the rightful heir to the throne lost, Vortigern seizes power. Years pass, and the new king’s power reaches a peak, until the sword Excalibur reveals itself—waiting for the true king to take his place.
This is the opening of “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.”
I found the characters well-developed and detailed. I felt sorry for some, in the suffering they faced, and cheered them on, as I despised the villain for being such an evil, maniacal character. The cast worked exceedingly well together. The plot is fast paced, but easy to understand. I found it exciting; my eyes were glued to the screen.
There is quite a bit of objectionable content. The most obvious is the abundance of witchcraft and occult pagan practices. A trio of demonic naked female nymphs are consulted—long hair partly covering bare breasts—and bare rear bottoms are briefly seen. Prostitutes are shown dressed in attire attributed to their trade. Their transactions with men are visible, and men are taken to their bedrooms (but sex is not depicted). Men are repeatedly shown shirtless. A tapestry pictures bare breasts. Naked female wood nymphs that are partly trees have bare breasts and bottoms (depicted as wooden parts of the trees).
There is also vulgar language throughout, blood, ritual sacrifices, and much strong violence and many people killed.
One theme is personal destiny and realizing one’s purpose in life. The film also deals with lust for power and a person’s willingness to sacrifice everything to achieve it. I was reminded that when people forget God and covet something that is not theirs, they will likely begin to hate that person and everything about them. This is what drives the antagonist to do all that he does. As Christians, we must resist the temptation to covet—and all other temptations to break God’s commandments. To resist, we must fear the Lord, repent of the wrongs we have done, and trust and follow Christ and His Word.
Although I generally enjoyed the unique direction of Guy Ritchie, and the cinematography and special effects, the overwhelming use of dark magic and sorcery was a definite distraction. Due to the film’s various negatives, it is not recommended.
Violence: Very Heavy / Vulgarity: Heavy—f-word, s-word, t*ts, a**, b*stard / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…rowdy chase after an elusive weapon… In Ritchie’s over-the-top, rock-and-roll “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” the less you know about the legend in question, the better. …
—Peter Debruge, Variety
…loud, bombastic and thuddingly obvious, this is a vulgar movie for vulgar times… does pull off some quick-witted and clever sequence…
—Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
…devolves into a jumbled affair, weighed down by confusing supernatural elements and a lazy reliance on visual effects… [2/5]
—Jimi Famurewa,·Empire [UK]
…This is a movie that, despite boasting the most basic of all possible plots, makes it virtually impossible to understand what’s happening on a minute-to-minute basis. …
—David Ehrlich, IndieWire
…“King Arthur” is primarily a medieval gangster film, and that’s when the movie is at its best. …a kind of uneven, but entertaining movie that’s way better than people are expecting. …
—Germain Lussier, Gizmodo
…“Legend of the Sword” is bad in ways I didn’t realize movies could be bad… The sad part is that you can see a good movie beneath the terrible edits that destroyed it. …in almost every scene, the action is undermined by weird edits that turn the whole affair into the narrative equivalent of four-year-old holiday fruitcake. …
—Annalee Newitz, ArsTechnica
…The “Sherlock Holmes” director has conjured up an entertaining rollercoaster that crashes through Arthurian legend, with only the occasional stall… [3/5]
—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)
…Guy Ritchie's combat-heavy Camelot is a very silly place…
—Robbie Collin, The Telegraph [UK]
…you’ll be bored by this “Legend of the Sword”…
—Scott Mendelson, Forbes
…Ritchie makes his own style the star of the film, crowding out the actors and the story because neither is terribly interesting. The result is an oxymoron: a frenetic slog. That’s unfortunately what happens to “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” a knowingly anachronistic riff on the legend… [1.5/4]
—Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com
…a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing… [1/4]
—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
…Guy Ritchie makes a medieval mess of ‘King Arthur’… “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is $100 million worth of junk, a digitized 3-D vulgarization of the Camelot legend so complete that it staggers the senses. It is ugly, crowded, deafening, overwrought, and incomprehensible, a pandering botch on a gargantuan scale. It’s the cinematic equivalent of eczema. The editing alone could induce an aneurysm. …[1/4]…
—Ty Burr, Boston Globe