MOVIE REVIEW: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

While it could be difficult to deliver the expectations of fans of the Arthurian Legend, this new incarnation gives a unique tone that has the potential to appear fresh to those unfamiliar with the classic tale of King Arthur.

Director Guy Ritchie gives his take an upbeat feel with a unique atmosphere thanks to a nice blend of medieval and modern music. Its stylish visual is already a given attribute that should be taken into consideration—away from the usual curiosity as to why make a new movie out of a classic tale. Instead of being dull and stale, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is the rock-and-roll version to be curious about.

Charlie Hunnam brings to limelight a massively enjoyable titular lead as his character’s adventures into becoming a king rolls up with much fun and spirit. On another hand, Jude Law is your regular antagonist who will do everything to get into the way of the protagonist. Their clashes in the story are just exciting to watch with all those great visual effects and fast-paced action sequences. Whenever the camera relies on actual fight scenes, the suspense materializes as believable as could be.

The plot is simple enough to be set aside in order to concentrate more on the elegance of the sets. Arthur wants to exact revenge on Vortigern who became king after killing the former’s parents. The legend says that he should pull the sword from the stone and so he does—moreso with grandness and adrenaline. After gathering up a crew, he is able to move forward and fight with Jude Law’s fierce Vortigern.

And what could be any more interesting than to see how he becomes the king as we know it.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is now playing in Philippine cinemas as released and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Jude Law steals the throne in ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’

British actor Jude Law plays the villain Vortigern with equal measures of dignity and desperation in Warner Bros. Pictures’ new epic action-adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, in Philippine cinemas May 17, 2017.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is the bold new story that introduces a streetwise young Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) who runs the back alleys of Londonium with his gang, unaware of the life he was born for until he grasps hold of the sword Excalibur—and with it, his future.

Instantly challenged by the power of Excalibur, Arthur is forced to make some hard choices. Throwing in with the Resistance and a mysterious young woman named Guinevere (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern (Law), who stole his crown and murdered his parents, and become King.

Law reveals, “Vortigern rules through fear. He’s purging the country of mages and the old ways in order to harness the control solely for himself. But the way he came to rule preys on his conscience, on his soul. It’s very dark and very twisted. And over time, he’s almost developed an addiction to the control, to his supremacy, so he’s a man wrestling with his inner devil, that devil being his own ego. It doesn’t matter that Arthur has no awareness of his own status; he’s a perceived threat to Vortigern’s delicate hold on the power he craves.”

Director Guy Ritchie notes, “We wanted Vortigern to be more than just a bad guy, and Jude isn’t a predictable choice for the villain. I had total faith in him and he gave us a really layered bad guy who you love to watch.”

Law adds, “Vortigern believes he is the righteous king, and he thinks Arthur, this peasant whippersnapper, can’t possibly bring anything to the throne. Within the reimagining of this mythology, the writers were clearly curious about the layers to this character, and for an actor, those were good discussions to have. That, and stomping around in armor with hundreds of soldiers and dogs and men on black horses, made this film truly fun to be a part of.”

Law worked with Hunnam several years prior, on the film Cold Mountain. Law recalls, “In that film, Charlie played the villain and I was the good guy! He’s a great actor, very collaborative, and has a solid work ethic.”

During filming on King Arthur, Hunnam became an even bigger fan of his co-star. “I think Jude is terrific, and I think his performance in this film is one of his best to date. He did sensational work.”

Opening across the Philippines on May 17, 2017, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Charlie Hunnam faces his destiny in ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’

Pacific Rim hero Charlie Hunnam stars as the titular character in Warner Bros. Pictures’ King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, in Philippine cinemas May 17, 2017.

Take a shrewd street thug with an irreverence for authority, yank him out of his barebones existence and surround him with otherworldly magic and colossal creatures, then advise him that he is, in reality, a king who must fight for his life, and you have Arthur Pendragon—a man meant to be a hero but struggling with his very identity, even as he attempts to stay alive.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword introduces an Arthur who was raised in a brothel on what would definitely be considered the wrong side of town. Now he runs the back alleys of the city with his gang of friends, completely unaware of his true provenance. But as bad luck would have it, Arthur is shipped off to Camelot where he, like every man of a certain age, is put to a test: to pull a sword from a stone, a futile effort for most as only one man among them can complete the task. Finding him is the true test; passing that test is a death sentence. And in his rush to take his turn so he can return to his present life, Arthur quickly comes face to face with the one thing that can reveal to him the truth of his past and the possibilities for his future.

If only he wanted to know.

“As far as he knows, Arthur was always poor; he’s had to take anything he wanted, he’s never been given anything,” Hunnam offers. “When he grasps hold of Excalibur, it overpowers him in every way, and he rejects it and anything that comes with it. He doesn’t even take it seriously. He doesn’t want the responsibility.”

Not so for Hunnam, says Ritchie. “I’ll tell you what’s great about Charlie—everything. He worked very hard and he never moaned for a second, even though we asked him to do some pretty tough stuff. He’s a decent, kind, thoughtful and talented human being. I liked him at the beginning of production, I liked him more every day and I adored him by the end.”

The admiration went both ways. “This was the best experience on a film I’ve had so far, and that’s because of Guy,” the actor says. “I had a blast, and it was a great learning experience and a real period of growth for me. Guy makes decisions in real time, immediately coming up with a solution if something’s not working. The environment comes alive to him and he works with the actors in a very instinctual way. If I came up blank on any given day, he always had ten ideas.”

Just as Excalibur plays a part in leading Arthur to his fate, Hunnam reveals, “It was instrumental for me in crystalizing the dream I had of becoming an actor. I watched all the films about the Arthurian legend over and over again when I was about six or seven. I actually had an Excalibur that I carved out of wood so I could play Arthur. So, to then be on a set in a version of Londinium playing King Arthur for real was pretty wild.”

Having spent some ten years in the United States, the Newcastle native found acting without an American accent, and then determining the appropriate manner of speaking for the character, to be an unexpected, yet invigorating, challenge. “We talked a lot about what Arthur’s accent should be and decided that a received pronunciation, be it contemporary or historical, would be wrong. We then looked at having him speak like a cockney geezer and thankfully abandoned that, too,” he laughs.

“Since Arthur comes from royal blood and would have heard that elocution in early childhood, but then is thrust out on his own and exposed to a lot of street talk in the city, we put his accent somewhere in the middle,” Hunnam reflects, “somewhere between Vortigern’s posh-sounding talk and Arthur’s own cockney crew.”

Opening across the Philippines on May 17, 2017, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

David Beckham makes movie debut via ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’

A scar-faced, broken-nosed David Beckham appears in a cameo in Warner Bros. Pictures’ King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, in Philippine cinemas May 17, 2017.

The superstar ex-footballer plays one of King Vortigern’s (Jude Law) Blacklegs standing guard over the proceedings around the mystical, powerful sword Excalibur.

While Beckham remains new to the world of acting, he humbly accepted the probability of criticism over his role saying, “I am very aware that many sportsmen and other celebrities have turned their hand to acting and failed. I know that it is a tough profession, where you need a huge amount of skill and discipline, and I wouldn’t want to push myself forward too soon, without learning more about it, and doing a lot more practice.”

It’s no secret that Beckham and British director Guy Ritchie are great friends. The pair has worked together on commercials that promoted the sporting legend’s product lines for H&M and Haig Club whiskey, while Beckham also had a cameo in Ritchie’s last film, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, King Arthur: Legend of the Swoerd stars Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Oscar nominee Jude Law, and Eric Bana. Ritchie directs the film from a screenplay by Joby Harold and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, story by Joby Harold.

The bold new story introduces a streetwise young Arthur who runs the back alleys of Londonium with his gang, unaware of the life he was born for until he grasps hold of the sword Excalibur—and with it, his future. Instantly challenged by the power of Excalibur, Arthur is forced to make some hard choices. Throwing in with the Resistance and a mysterious young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern, who stole his crown and murdered his parents, and become King.

Opening across the Philippines on May 17, 2017, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Director Guy Ritchie gives gritty, modern edge to ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’

Everyone knows the fabled Arthurian legend…or at least thinks they do. But in the hands of director Guy Ritchie, the tale takes on a decidedly gritty, modern edge in Warner Bros. Pictures’ King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, in Philippine cinemas May 17, 2017.

In the film, Arthur is not yet king, but is instead a ruffian – a thoroughly reluctant hero compelled to discover his true destiny even as he fights against the very monarchy he is meant to rule.

“I think the best narratives take a man on a journey that transcends his limitations and allows him to evolve from his most basic nature into someone worthy of a bigger life,” says Ritchie, who also co-wrote and produced the film. “In our version of the story, Arthur’s life starts small: an urchin in a brothel, running the streets, learning to fight and dodging the law with his mates. Then the actions of others—some with good, some with not-so-good intentions—force him to expand his vision of who he could be.”
Charlie Hunnam, who stars in the titular role, says, “Guy has taken the classic hero’s journey and created an origin story with a very accessible Arthur for a new generation. Our Arthur has grown up fending for himself, rough and ready, carving out a little world where he’s a prince among thieves. But he’s no noble soul looking for a cause.”

Nevertheless, it’s looking for him, and as soon as Arthur comes into contact with Excalibur, that extraordinary piece of iron firmly embedded in granite, his life will change forever…like it or not.

While the presence of the famed Camelot was a must, it was producer/co-writer Lionel Wigram who suggested setting the bulk of this big actioner away from the castle, in a more urban environment, and both Ritchie and Wigram were drawn to an ancient version of England’s capital: Roman London, which at the time was called Londinium.

Wigram states, “There have been many separate and differing versions of the King Arthur story, in which he has been everything from a Celtic warrior to a Roman centurion. The myth has endured and has been adapted to fit the requirements of each different time period in which it has been told. Given this rich tradition of interpretation, we felt that as long as we retained its essential thematic elements, we had license to come up with our own iteration of the story, to have some fun with the details in a way we hope will speak to today’s audiences.”

“This is an Arthur who doesn’t aspire to greatness—fate throws it at him,” Ritchie says, “and he fights it, and pretty much everyone around him, every step of the way.”

And fight he does, in visceral action sequences that include spectacular displays of bows and arrows, battles of hack-and-slash swordplay, mad dashes through the grimy back alleys of the city, and a mix of martial arts and bare-knuckle fighting. It was all captured in stunning UK locations throughout Wales and Scotland and on the cavernous Warner Bros. Leavesden soundstages, and set to a pulsating score.

It all adds up to Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, in which Excalibur reveals itself, and a man’s true calling along with it.

Opening across the Philippines on May 17, 2017, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law invite PH fans to watch ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’

Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law, stars of Warner Bros. Pictures’ new epic action adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, greet “Mabuhay, Philippines!” as they invite Filipino fans to watch the film. Watch the clip below.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, King Arthur: Legend of the Swoerd stars Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Oscar nominee Jude Law, and Eric Bana. Ritchie directs the film from a screenplay by Joby Harold and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, story by Joby Harold.

The bold new story introduces a streetwise young Arthur who runs the back alleys of Londonium with his gang, unaware of the life he was born for until he grasps hold of the sword Excalibur—and with it, his future. Instantly challenged by the power of Excalibur, Arthur is forced to make some hard choices. Throwing in with the Resistance and a mysterious young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern, who stole his crown and murdered his parents, and become King.

Opening across the Philippines on May 17, 2017, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. 

WATCH: Final trailer for ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ shows power of Excalibur

Warner Bros. Pictures has just debuted the final trailer of its epic fantasy King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, from director Guy Ritchie.

Check out the new trailer below and watch King Arthur: Legend of the Sword in Philippine cinemas starting May 11, 2017.

The film stars Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Oscar nominee Jude Law, and Eric Bana. Ritchie directs the film from a screenplay by Joby Harold and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, story by Joby Harold.

The bold new story introduces a streetwise young Arthur who runs the back alleys of Londonium with his gang, unaware of the life he was born for until he grasps hold of the sword Excalibur—and with it, his future. Instantly challenged by the power of Excalibur, Arthur is forced to make some hard choices. Throwing in with the Resistance and a mysterious young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern, who stole his crown and murdered his parents, and become King.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

WATCH: ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ reveals epic scope in new trailer

The full trailer has now arrived for Guy Ritchie’s adrenalin-fueled epic fantasy take on the Arthurian legends with Warner Bros. Pictures’ sweeping fantasy action adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Check out the new trailer below and watch King Arthur: Legend of the Sword in Philippine cinemas starting May 17, 2017.

The film stars Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Oscar nominee Jude Law, and Eric Bana. Ritchie directs the film from a screenplay by Joby Harold and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, story by Joby Harold.

The bold new story introduces a streetwise young Arthur who runs the back alleys of Londonium with his gang, unaware of the life he was born for until he grasps hold of the sword Excalibur—and with it, his future. Instantly challenged by the power of Excalibur, Arthur is forced to make some hard choices. Throwing in with the Resistance and a mysterious young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern, who stole his crown and murdered his parents, and become King.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

WATCH: Trailer for ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ gets action-packed treatment

Guy Ritchie (“Sherlock Holmes”) brings his dynamic style to an original King Arthur epic in Warner Bros. Pictures’ sweeping fantasy action adventure “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” starring Charlie Hunnam. Watch the film’s first trailer below (launched at the recent San Diego Comic-Con).

Starring with Hunnam are Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Oscar nominee Jude Law, and Eric Bana. Ritchie directs the film from a screenplay by Joby Harold and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, story by Joby Harold.

The bold new story introduces a streetwise young Arthur who runs the back alleys of Londonium with his gang, unaware of the life he was born for until he grasps hold of the sword Excalibur—and with it, his future. Instantly challenged by the power of Excalibur, Arthur is forced to make some hard choices. Throwing in with the Resistance and a mysterious young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern, who stole his crown and murdered his parents, and become King.

The film is produced by Oscar winner Akiva Goldsman, Joby Harold, Tory Tunnell, Lionel Wigram, Guy Ritchie and Steve Clark-Hall. David Dobkin and Bruce Berman are executive producers. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Weed Road/Safehouse Pictures Production, a Ritchie/Wigram Production.

Slated for release beginning in March 2017 across the Philippines, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.