In some what I'm not all that surprised that Guy Ritchie decided to do a King Arthur film, though I wasn't quite expecting it to be a film done in Guy Ritchie style. In a sense it sort of comes across as being his typical dark and gritty film yet in another sense it is also very much an heroic fantasy. In a way it is a shame that the film flopped the way it did because it was actually a pretty enjoyable film, and I certainly quite like Ritchie's style of directing. Okay, a part of me didn't quite get the humour of the piece, particularly since we had a similar style in all of his films. However, what we do need to remember is the Ritchies style has always been very gritty, and King Arthur is no exception.The thing with Arthur is that there are quite a lot of stories out there, and none of them are really the same. I guess this is the nature of a legend. Interestingly some of the stories don't even have Arthur meeting Merlin (and this is the case in this film). In fact Arthur didn't even get to meet his father, but I suspect that is consistent with a lot of the legends. In this film we have the sorcerer Mordred ravaging the land, however in the aftermath of the battle, Uther's brother slays his wife to gain power, and releases a demon that kills both Uther and his wife, but allowing Arthur to go free. However, before he dies the sword, Excalibur is buried in rock and only the true born king can pull it out.Much of the film is really about Arthur coming to terms with who he is. He grows up in a brothel and in true Guy Ritchie style, through perseverance, charm, and simple determination, basically becomes a underworld figure. However the false king suddenly discovers that as long as the sword is in the stone (and for quite a while it was underwater, however the water then drained away revealing it to all), then his power isn't going to be complete, so he sends out his troops to round up everybody Arthur's age to see if they can remove the sword. As you can probably guess Arthur succeeds. However, because is the true king, he is a threat, so he is about to be executed, except the rebels, who have been simmering around for a while, rise their heads and attack.The other thing that the film reminded me of was Macbeth. In fact it appeared to be a retelling of the Shakespearian play using the Arthurian heroes as opposed to the Shakespearian heroes. The reason that seemed to come about was the appearance of the three witches that lived in the lake. Okay, unlike Macbeth, this film focuses more on Arthur than on the protagonist, but it seemed to come out that way a lot. However, what really grabbed my attention was that despite it being heroic fantasy, it still have the real grittiness of your typical Guy Ritchie film, and it is a real shame that it is a flop because it isn't actually as bad as the takings make it out to be (though this may have a lot more to do with the extravagant nature of the film as opposed to any inherent problems with it).
An alternative version of the King Arthur legend. As a boy, Arthur is left orphaned after his father, King Uther Pendragon, and mother are killed in a war waged against them by Vortigern, who then assumes the throne. Arthur flees and is raised in a brothel, knowing very little of his birthright. Vortigern wants Arthur dead, to ensure there is no claimant to the throne. The legends foretell that only the next king will be able to draw Excalibur, Uther's sword, from the rock where it is lodged. So, in an effort to identify Arthur, Vortigern forces all the young men of Arthur's age to attempt to draw out the sword. Now it is Arthur's turn.
This King Arthur is flawed, that I agree with, but I don't think it is a bad movie as such. Okay it is historically inaccurate and the traditional elements of the Arthurian legend are missing such as wizardry, love triangle or even Camelot, but they weren't the problems for me of this film.What didn't impress me much about King Arthur were a few things, especially the pace. The length was fine, but there are some scenes where it feels very pedestrian. The obligatory love scene also fell flat for me, well-shot, well-scored, but it interrupted the flow of the movie, and when it came to the dialogue and acting, this was one instance of the film being at its least effective. The script is rather hackneyed in places, and that is including the rousing speeches, and Keira Knightley despite looking gorgeous isn't really believable as Guinevere.Flaws aside, the film does look fantastic, the scenery, sets and costumes are wonderful and I loved the camera work, while the battle scenes are well-staged and more than convincing, the film is well-directed by Antoine Fuqua and Hans Zimmer's score has a real majesty about it. Knightley aside, the acting is good without being outstanding. Ioan Gruffudd is just okay as Lancelot, though I liked how his character was written and Gruffudd himself looks dashing. Clive Owen is a suitably subdued King Arthur, Stephen Dillaine is also pretty good and while all the knights look the part it is Ray Winstone who steals the film.Overall, decent if unspectacular film. 6/10 Bethany Cox
Excalibur is a legendary sword found in Arthurian legends, and is arguably one of the most renowned swords in history. This sword was wielded by the legendary King Arthur, and magical properties were often ascribed to it. In some versions of the story of King Arthur , Excalibur is regarded to be the same sword as the Sword in the Stone. In most versions, however, these are in fact two separate weapons. The fascination with this sword is visible in modern pop culture, as Excalibur can be found in various films, television series and video games.
In another version, King Arthur is said to have received Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake. The sword was given to Arthur after he broke his sword during a fight with Pellinore, the king of Listenoise, famous for his hunt of the Questing Beast.
According to Arthurian legend, Merlin magically disguises Uther to look like his enemy Gorlois, enabling Uther to sleep with Gorlois' wife Lady Igraine. Thus Arthur, "the once and future king", is an illegitimate child (though later legend, as found in Malory, emphasises that the conception occurred after Gorlois's death and that he was legitimated by Uther's subsequent marriage to Igraine). This act of conception occurs the very night that Uther's troops dispatch Gorlois. The theme of illegitimate conception is repeated in Arthur's siring of Mordred by his own half-sister Morgause in the 13th century French prose cycles, which was invented by them; it is Mordred who mortally wounds King Arthur in the Battle of Camlann.
Notwithstanding these misfortunes, the Britons were not subdued; and this island was regarded by the ambitious Romans as a field in which military honour might still be acquired. Under the reign of Nero, A.D. 59. Suetonius Paulinus was invested with the command, and prepared to signalize his name by victories over those barbarians. Finding that the island of Mona, now Anglesey, was the chief seat of the Druids, he resolved to attack it, and to subject a place, which was the center of their superstition, and which afforded protection to all their baffled forces. The Britons endeavoured to obstruct his landing on this sacred island, both by the force of their arms and the terrors of their religion. The women and priests were intermingled with the soldiers upon the shore; and running about with flaming torches in their hands, and tossing their dishevelled hair, they struck greater terror into the astonished Romans by their howlings, cries, and execrations, than the real danger from the armed forces was able to inspire. But Suetonius, exhorting his troops to despise the menaces of a superstition, which they despised, impelled them to the attack, drove the Britons off the field, |burned the Druids in the same fires which those priests had prepared for their captive enemies, destroyed all the consecrated groves and altars; and, having thus triumphed over the religion of the Britons, he thought his future progress would be easy, in reducing the people to subjection. But he was disappointed in his expectations. The Britons, taking advantage of his absence, were all in arms; and headed by Boadicea, queen of the Iceni, who had been treated in the most ignominious manner by the Roman tribunes, had already attacked with success several settlements of their insulting conquerors. Suetonius hastened to the protection of London, which was already a flourishing Roman colony; but he found on his arrival, that it would be requisite for the general safety to abandon that place to the merciless fury of the enemy. London was reduced to ashes; such of the inhabitants as remained in it, were cruelly massacred; the Romans and all strangers, to the number of 70,000, were every where put to the sword without distinction; and the Britons, by rendering the war thus bloody, seemed determined to cut off all hopes of peace or composition with the enemy. But this cruelty was revenged by Suetonius in a great and decisive battle, where 80,000 of the Britons are said to have perished; and Boadicea herself, rather than fall into the hands of the enraged victor, put an end to her own life by poison. Nero soon after recalled Suetonius from a government, where, by suffering and inflicting so many severities, he was judged improper for composing the angry and alarmed minds of the inhabitants. After some interval, Cerealis received the command from Vespasian, and by his bravery propagated the terror of the Roman arms. Julius Frontinus succeeded Cerealis both in authority and in reputation: But the general, who finally established the dominion of the Romans in this island, was Julius Agricola, who governed it in the reigns of Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian, and distinguished himself in that scene of action. 2b1af7f3a8