King Arthur Offers a Spellbinding Contemporary Take on the Legend of Camelot

Shot on location in the breathtakingly beautiful highlands of Wales and Scotland, acclaimed filmmaker Guy Richies’ epic new take on the old English legend of King Arthur transports you back in time with futuristic flare. Fast paced cinematography, heightened with stunning CGI, a drop dead gorgeous cast and Britain’s romantic rolling landscapes, turn every frame into a feast for the eyes.

The fantasy blockbuster is nobly lead by the ruggedest of young dramatic talents the UK has to offer, Charlie Hunnam, the blond ripped hunk best known to North American audiences as ‘Jax’ in FX’s Sons of Anarchy. Hunnam adds countless nuances to his performance, finding subtle charm in his boyish swagger of a street urchin countered with the depth and power of a mighty King. Look no further for your knight in shinning armor, Charlie’s take on the pauper-turned-prince will have you swooning in your seat with every thrash of his mighty sword.

For those unfamiliar with the ‘Legend of Sword’; when young Prince Arthur’s world is shattered by the assassination of his father and mother, the kingdom’s rule is acquired by his uncle Vortigern (Jude Law). The young prince is forced to flee from his royal status, living out his days as a commoner. The King’s sword is plunged into stone whereabouts it can only be released from it’s magical grasp by the rightful royal heir. When Arthur pulls the sword his life is once again turned upside down as he must face his true legacy whether he likes it or not.

Charlie Hunnam’s journey through the film has an extraordinary long distance from content street rat to prince defending the title thrust upon him.The story penned by David Dobkin and Bruce Berman takes some smart liberties with their translation of the loose fable, placing the young protagonist prince as far from his throne as possible, raising him in a brothel with no desire for or remembrance of his past.

Jam packed with visceral action sequences, supernatural magic sorcery and epically massive beasts, this flick is full of surprises and had something for everyone. There is even a quick cameo by soccer icon David Beckham who, at a pivotal moment in the film, delivers an impressive performance for an amateur.   

One of the standout contributions to the film is the futuristic musical score by Daniel Pemberton. What could be accompanied with standard classical drab is replaced with what sounds like bad-ass celtic techno folk beats. It’s a brilliant choice to keep a contemporary audience engaged while still supporting the time period and it quickly moves the action along.

Jude Law has never looked so good being so mean, you will love to hate him as the evil Vortigren. Law brings just the right about of gravitas to the villainous role of a man battling his dark ego and consumed by his unquenchable appetite for power. It’s hard to take your eyes off of him.

Queer Trivia: King Arthur reunites Charile Hunnam and Aidan Gillen (who appears in the film as Bill, one of Arthur’s knights). The two co-starred in the original 1998 British Queer as Folk series as ‘Nathan’ and ‘Stuart’. Throwback!

By Dave Robert

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