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Finally, A Man Worth Killing
King Arthur (DVD)
Member Name: Andy.mack
King Arthur (DVD)
Date: 15/02/05, updated on 24/02/05 (150 review reads)
Advantages: Some amazing fight scenes and great special effects, Ray Winstone
Disadvantages: Wooden characters, disapointing plot
The film opens with a story of how Arthur and his Knights of the round table came to be. Young kids collected from villages the knights fought against the Roman armies in their native Salamatia. They are posted along with their leader Arthur to a Roman outpost on Hadrianís Wall. After 15 years of service Arthur and his knights are due to be released from serving the Romans as they prepare to pull out of Britain and retreat back to mainland Europe. They must however undertake one last mission, which could see some of them never return.
He must lead his small patrol of Knights north of the wall into southern Scotland to rescue an important Roman family from the advancing Saxon Army. With Merlin and his band of Britons patrolling these areas, Arthur and his team must be careful. He makes it to the Villa in time but only just as the advancing Saxon army arenít far behind them. Arthur and his Knights of The Round Table fight for the freedom of themselves and others and now they must face a Saxon Hoard. Can they make it back to the Wall and to Safety? Well there is only one way to find out.
The idea of the movie was a good one. I thought the tale of Arthur and the Knights Of The Round Table would make for a decent film. The biggest problem this version suffers from is an over Hollywoodisation of the story. Rather than follow a gripping story that keeps the audience interested it instead relies on a formula thatís been done over and over again. Itís not even that itís an awful film, there is certainly plenty of appeal from it. You just end up with a well that was unmemorable kind of feeling afterwards.
The film had the potential to make something with a little difference that pushed the historic genre forward a touch. Instead director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) stuck to a safe formula that would make the film appeal to many but ultimately disappoint. Itís not even the direction that really causes it. The special effects look fantastic and on the whole the camera work is pretty good. It losses track of whatís going on during the fight scenes but on the whole it flows along nicely. The fight scenes despite the rotating and confusing cameras all look great as well with amazing choreography. There are a number of rather gruesome deaths, which all look incredible and this made up for certain aspects of the poorer overall story.
For all the films plus points there are also an equal number of negatives. The story itself is as I already mentioned following a rather safe route. It doesnít really capture your imagination like a film of this sort really should. That also ruins the character development as you end up with an ah well kind of feeling whenever something happens to one of the main characters. This again doesnít really captivate you and the film suffers because of it. The film boasts a pretty good cast but unfortunately the director hasnít made the most of them, which is odd based on how well he used the stars in Training Day.
Iíve not really seen Clive Owen in much and as Arthur he really didnít impress me. It was mainly down to a rather wooden character and where he should have stolen the show he left me incredibly unimpressed. As tip for the next Bond it was also worrying to see the lack of chemistry between Owen and Kiera Knightly. I felt this was again down to the way the characterís and story was written. Kiera does her job relatively well, although how she went from deathís door to being totally stunning in three days was beyond me. She seemed to be a pretty good choice as Guinevere, it was just a shame she didnít get that much screen time.
The rest of the cast seemed to follow in a similar vein. With only one real exception, I felt that Ray Winstone really made the part his own and put in a great performance as Bors. He seemed to be everything you could want from a Knight and even contributed a bit of humour. The rest of the cast were pretty average and although you can see potential in a number of them I thought a lot of them were miscast. For instance although Ioan Gruffudd was ok as Lancelot I donít think the part really suited him.
What should have been a great film left me feeling totally under whelmed but not really that bothered. An interesting story that could have been a lot better than it was. If Hollywood persist in taking stories like this, perhaps they could at least try something a little bit different. There are parts of this film that appeal to me having watched it but in equal measure there was enough to put me off watching it again. If you do want to see it then my final recommendation would certainly be rental, itís not worth buying.