Friday Movie Review: The King & Guy
Is there anything more thrilling than watching a Guy Ritchie directed film? Of course there is, they’re just movies. Skydiving is a thing. However, are there more thrilling movies to watch unfold than Guy Ritchie’s? There’s a strong argument for “no”, and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword enforces that argument. With his unique directorial style shaping a classic story full of magic, sword-fights, and unforgettable characters, he made this a movie any fantasy or action/adventure lover would be sorry to miss.
This iteration of the story of the legendary king finds Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) as a prince, orphaned at a very young age by his nefarious uncle (Jude Law). Barely escaping with his life, he’s rescued and raised by inner-city prostitutes. When the magical sword of the former king presents itself and every male of the escaped prince’s age is forced to attempt to remove it from a stone, Arthur does so revealing himself as the heir to the royal line. Now aware of his lineage, he has to team up with revolutionists and use his ties to the criminal world to usurp his blood-thirsty uncle and reclaim his rightful throne.
This movie acts as a perfect example of why remakes deserve an opportunity to prove themselves. It was almost as if Guy Ritchie was waiting his whole life to have enough prestige to make the movie he really wanted, because his style shone through every fabric of this film. From his signature non-sequential timelines in his storytelling proved both humorous and gripping at the appropriate moments. His patent rubato tempoed fight-scenes he famously showcased in his Sherlock Holmes series makes another appearance, but this time with swords and armies making it even more intoxicating.
Guy’s directorial style wasn’t the only thing working towards this movie’s adrenaline-fueled bad-assery. Despite taking a backseat to Jude Law and Charlie Hunnam in the credits, Eric Bana really pumped the picture full of subtle action-hero bravado. Playing Arthur’s father, he had a very limited screen-time, but in that short time both he and his character set the bar for potential for both Charlie Hunnam and his character. If his acting wasn’t so capable and compact the entire picture would have fallen apart, but it was so it didn’t.
Perhaps by patronizing this film we can encourage a sequel. As fun as this movie was, The Sword and the Stone is a story we’re all familiar with by now. A sequel can be a cool way to explore the very extensive mythology of King Arthur, including some stories that the general public isn’t familiar with. If any of this tickles your fancy (or if you’re simply an anglophile) make sure you get RocknRollin’ to Snatch a ticket and get Swept Away - Lock, Stock, and Barrel.