Monday, June 10, 2013

King Arthur (2004)

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Starring: Clive Owen, Ioan Gruffudd, Mads Mikkelsen, Joel Edgerton, Hugh Dancy, Ray Winstone, Ray Stevenson, Keira Knightley, Stephen Dillane, Stellan Skarsgard, Til Schweiger

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Rule Your Fate

Plot: An ambitious attempt to wed the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table with known historical facts of the era, this action adventure drama begins with the fall of the Roman Empire in 450 A.D. as Roman armies flee the British Isles. Arthur (Owen) a heroic knight and devoted Christian, is torn between his desire to travel to Rome to serve his faith and his loyalty to the land of his birth. As England falls into lawlessness, Arthur throws in his lot with a band of knights who hope to restore order to their fair and pleasant land and hopes to win freedom for his comrades. In time, Arthur and his men join forces with Merlin, a shaman whose band of renegade knights were often pitched in battle against Roman forces. Forming a united front as loyal Englishmen against the invading Saxon armies, Arthur, Merlin, and the brave and beautiful Guinevere are determined to unite a sovereign Britain under one army and one king.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Clive Owen is awesome.  Done.  Next business.  And so are just about everyone else in this flick.  Keira Knightley?  Not at all.  Ugh.  I'm growing tired of seeing one dimensional badass female characters.  Whatever happened to being restrained or quiet yet staying very tough and deadly?  Why do actresses (and the writers who create the characters to begin with) insist on playing these roles like their cocks are bigger than their male counterparts?  I give up.  The first 2/3 of this picture are a lot of fun, though.  I really dug it and I loved the characters and the interesting take on the King Arthur legend.  Then you get the cliche'd big battle at the end with everyone behaving exactly as you think they will and with the outcome that's been played out hundreds of times in as many movies that have come before.  With such a promising start I was hoping for much better.  I watched the director's cut (THE one to watch, I hear) but by the time the last couple of reels arrived I was ready for this to be done with.  The battle dragged on and on.  And then there's Hans Zimmer's echoing score from his own GLADIATOR (2000).  All it did for me was remind me of that MUCH better film.  Lower your expectations. 

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