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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword


Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Mikael Persbrandt, Eric Bana, Annabelle Wallis, Peter Ferdinando, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Geoff Bell, Freddie Fox, Craig McGinlay, Lorraine Bruce, Eline Powell

Director: Guy Ritchie

King Arthur has long been a cinematic staple for live-action and Disney animation and featuring, among others, Richard Harris's warbling monarch, Cedric Hardwicke, Mel Ferrer, Sean Connery and Clive Owen as the Camelot legend.

The results were mixed but at least all the previous portrayers were spared director Ritchie's overexcited and underwhelming treatment - here the credits inform us that this is A GUY RITCHIE FILM and confirm his guilt by crediting him as producer and cowriter with Joby Harold and Lionel Wigram.

Given the crass dialogue and mostly pantomime performances, the film's one saving grace are the award-worthy special effects that create spectacle ad-lib, including massive armies in bloody conflict, unlikely vistas, tentacle terrors and, improbably, giant elephants who kick castles to pieces.

In line with other Ritchie legends such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Rocknrolla, Cockney geezers fill the supporting roles with accents which, like Ray Winstone's in Beowulf, seem more than a tad out of place in the days of King Arthur.

Still, that's Show Business, along with the giant bats, huge pachyderms, massive multi-tentacled creatures and other unlikely inhabitants of Merrie England conjured up by Ritchie and his movie magicians.

Alan Frank

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour by ACES.
120 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 28 Sep 2017

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