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MOVIE REVIEW

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword also known as “Arthur király: A kard legendája,” “Rey Arturo: La leyenda de Excálibur,” “El Rey Artuto: La Leyenda de la Espada,” “Karalius Arturas: kalavijo legenda,” “King Arthur: Il potere della spada,” “Kral Arthur: Kiliç Efsanesi,” “Kralj Arthur: Legenda o maču,” “Król Artur: Legenda miecza,” “Kuningas Arthur: Mõõga legend,” “Le roi Arthur: La légende d'Excalibur,” “Rei Arthur: A Lenda da Espad,” “Rei Artur: A Lenda da Espada”

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, suggestive content and some disturbing images.

reviewed by: Pamela Gardner
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Genre:
Action Adventure Fantasy
Length:
2 hr. 6 min.
Year of Release:
2017
USA Release:
May 12, 2017 (wide—3,702 theaters)
DVD: August 8, 2017
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

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

Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

temptation

sin and the fall of man

lust for power

prostitution

abusing women

Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

fantasy sorcery and magic

What is the Occult? Answer

THE OCCULT—What does the Bible say about it? Answer

Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

swords and armor in the Bible

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? 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?

Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Featuring: Charlie Hunnam … Arthur
Astrid Bergès-Frisbey … The Mage
Jude LawVortigern
Djimon Hounsou … Bedivere
Eric BanaUther
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
See all »
Director: Guy Ritchie—“Sherlock Holmes” (2009), “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (2015)
Producer: Safehouse Pictures
Village Roadshow Pictures
See all »
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.

Content concerns

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.


Positive
Positive—For people who enjoy fantasy movies, this is a must see. The content is heavy and dark. The witchcraft portrayed in the movie is often, and made to be majestic and powerful. If witchcraft by wizards bother you—then skip this movie. If you overlook it in fantasy situations, then this should not bother you. As to vulgarity, the F—bomb is dropped 2 times VERY prominently, but I didn’t notice any other cussing. There wasn’t really any sex or nudity, although a brothel is portrayed. You see nothing. Well—no nudity if you don’t count half-sea creatures and tree-bark people that would not naturally wear clothes—but it is not titillating or excessive. The only breasts you really see was in a stone carving, and it was brief, and like I say, a statue like in an art museum.

Overall, I would not take a small child or even more innocent teens to see this movie. I would say this movie is for 16+ and only for people heavily into fantasy movies. I am actually about to see it again in theaters. I loved it that much. It really is heavy and dark—but you do feel transported to another world.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
Chandra Mcguire, age 35 (USA)
Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Here’s what other critics have said…
…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

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