|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:
|King Arthur – Legend of the Sword
|Adventure, Action, Fantasy
|Approx. 126 min
The legend of King Arthur is probably known to everyone, it has been told countless times in books, series, films and on stage. Now Guy Ritchie is trying his hand at a visually stunning reinterpretation with King Arthur - Legend of the Sword. In his fantasy action adventure, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) grows up on the hard streets of Londinium. Raised in a brothel, shady dealings, theft and brawls dominate the agenda. And even at night he can't get any rest, as he is constantly plagued by nightmares. What he does not suspect: they are not dreams, but memories of the death of his real parents. As a young boy, Arthur had to watch as his mother and father Uther (Eric Bana), the King of England, were brutally murdered. Now it is said that the true heir to the throne will return to claim the crown from the tyrannical King Vortigern (Jude Law). He, of course, wants to prevent that at all costs. Uther's son must be found and eliminated as quickly as possible. But there is still a magical secret that could be a crucial help to Arthur in his fight for the throne.
King Arthur - Legend of the Sword is planned as the start of a total franchise of six films. Whether there will actually be more films around the legendary king and his knights of the round table, must be doubted after this arguably bumpy debut. Sure, whenever Guy Ritchie is allowed to be himself and use his proven mix of dry humor, fast cuts and cool soundtrack, the whole thing works really well and has such a high entertainment as well as show value. But whenever it tries to present a crowd-pleasing fantasy epic, the film is far from compelling. At some moments - which shall not be spoiled here for dramaturgical reasons - you might even think that trash master Uwe Boll himself has stepped in for Ritchie.
There are nice ideas, a couple of really well-staged action sequences and a handful of amusing lines. But the editing seems a bit clumsy in many places and makes sure that on a dramaturgical level alone there just doesn't want to be a coherent overall picture. This is especially evident in the final act, which after the long build-up feels rushed and somehow unfinished. It's to Ritchie's credit that he tried to add a new facet to the well-known myth and that he refrains from all too popular stylistic devices like the usual Hans Zimmer-style hero music. If the movie would have stayed true to one line, this could have been a really great movie. So it has become a quite nice fantasy adventure - not less, but also not more!
Charlie Hunnam is well cast as action Arthur and Jude Law also does a really good job as the villain. In some scenes, this helps to overcome the looming trash factor of the production. However, it can't completely mask the patched up script and the editing that tries a little too hard to be cool. What's left is good enough for an entertaining visit to the cinema. But whether it's enough to make the whole thing such a big success that it warrants one, let alone five sequels, is rather unlikely. Well worth seeing with some reservations
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp