King Arthur (2004)

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Once again Hollywood presents it’s interpretation of “history” and once again, it’s about as convincing as the manifesto of the flat Earth society.

Every cinematic cliche from the stories of Robin Hood and Arthurian legend is mixed with Braveheart and even Gladiator, and presented as “fact”, which is easily the film’s biggest flaw. Every time the name Arthur or Lancelot is mentioned, it only serves to remind how absurd it all is. But expecting the worst, I watched this with my least cynical head on – luckily, otherwise I would never have made it past the first half hour – and actually rather enjoyed it. When it finally gets down to the serious business of the cast hacking each other into Mcnuggets, things definitely improve. The battle sequences are superb, both thrilling and beautifully staged and I couldn’t help thinking that if it had just accepted itself as hokey fantasy – the director was clearly trying to emulate Lord Of The Rings anyway – it would have been a lot easier to accept. If you’re the kind of person who could ignore Braveheart’s shortcomings and enjoy it for what it was, you could do the same for King Arthur.

But if you expect historical accuracy – or even dialogue that doesn’t make you physically cringe – I’d look elsewhere.

6/10

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