Starring: Clive Owen, Stephen Dillane, Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffudd
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Written by: David Franzoni
Length: 2 hours 6 min.
Genre: Action Adventure
Release Date: July 7, 2004
Clive Owen stars as King Arthur and Keira Knightley plays Guinevere, who is now apparently a warrior, in this all fighting/no magic version of the old tale.
King Arthur is a very different take on the King Arthur legend, which I didn’t realize was so much legend and hardly any reality. Camelot isn’t involved at all. It introduces us to Arthur, who is not king at the time, but does have his knights with him. All of his knights are pagans, while he is a Christian ready to go to Rome, which controls Britain at that point. Lancelot is introduced as being the best friend of Arthur. The whole love triangle with Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere never happens in this movie. It is hinted about during one scene, but nothing ever comes of it.
There are other knights, but I never really catch their names. I did hear one guy referred to as Galahad, which led me to start quoting Monty Python and the Holy Grail. My favorite parts of the movie were things that reminded me of that movie and made me start quoting things all over the place. There is one knight who I never learned the name of, but I did refer to him as Titus from HBO’s Rome. Funny thing is that I made a comment about how Titus would completely beat up all these people that were attacking Roman soldiers. Then the guy who plays him shows up and did! Good timing.
Guinevere is a Wold, which are some kind of pagan warrior people that are led by Merlin. I had a hard time telling who Merlin was since all the guys looked alike.Guinevere was found by Arthur being tortured by Romans who thought that if people didn’t believe in their God, they must be tortured and killed. This led to much talk about faith and free will, which was repeated over and over again. I didn’t buy Guinevere as this barbarian-type warrior, especially when she was overpowering all these guys in major armor and she was wearing little pieces of cloth. I also didn’t buy her falling in love with Arthur. It looked more like she lusted after him and decided to sleep with him so they could be married.
The pacing of the movie was a tad odd. The beginning was weird, then it picked up a bit when they went on one last mission. The fight scene on a lake of ice was cool, and then there was more weirdness after that before the final fight. The very ending was also weird. It was like there was a happy ending just thrown in there, but it didn’t fit. There wasn’t anything really leading up to it.
The only really good thing about the movie was that it made me go do research about the King Arthur legend. I wanted to know what really happened. Of course, I didn’t find that out, but I didn’t know there was so much myth and speculation surrounding a man that may or may not have existed.