Review: King Arthur

King Arthur aims to pull back the curtain of myth and legend surrounding Arthur and his fabled Knights, but what do we find? A hyperstylized action anime. Lancelot dual wields katanas and Lady Guinevere is a half-naked amazon archer smeared in woad. The Grail Knight, Sir Bors, pummels his opponents with spiked boxing gloves. It’s what youtube AMVs are made of. I’m not opposed to this sort of thing; Gangs of New York did an excellent job of infusing historical personages with video game character design, but King Arthur’s reimagining of history and legend feels dull and focus-grouped.

The dialogue is a real mixed bag. Everything King Cerdic says is poetry, but this exchange between Lancelot and Guinevere reminded me of my days reading fanfiction in highschool:

L: “A lot of lonely men out there.”
G: “Don’t worry, I won’t let them rape you.”

I remember critics actually praising this line in particular as “subversive”–not patronizing at all. Hrm.

I can only recommend this movie for Stellan Skarsgaard who plays barbarian king Cerdic with effortless panache.