The world is full of stories, but some are retold more than others. Sure some are forced upon us whether we like it or not, but there are some that we look forward to when shown through different eyes. Seeing Sherlock Holmes or Dracula told differently, while not always done well, keeps those characters alive for the generations to come. I mean I for one would trade five more stories about Holmes than to sit through one more “Transformers” movie. Holmes though is not my favorite retold character, for me that would be King Arthur.
With so many adaptations already having been done, including my favorite “Excalibur” you might ask what else can be done? Well in the hands of Guy Ritchie it seems there is still more to explore in this story. Uther (Eric Bana) is a King who with his brother Vortigern (Jude Law) is man’s last hope against a mage who is hell bent on destroying them. With the help of his magic sword Excalibur, Uther defeats the mage only to be double crossed by his own brother. Vortigern, who you knew was evil because of his name, decides he should be kind and kills Uther and his wife. The problem though is Uther’s son escapes and grows up with no knowledge of his true heritage. That soon changes when Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) comes of age and is forced to try and pull the sword out of the stone, thus revealing who he really is. Arthur you see is the one true King but in order for him to claim the crown, he must defeat his evil uncle, while learning the secret of the sword along the way.
Knowing the story as well as a lot of people do, I did wonder what angle Ritchie would take. The choice he made was to tell the story of Arthur and what it means to become a King. While the story part might be a mystery how it turns out, Ritchie behind the camera is not, as you know you will have some fun in a Guy Ritchie film. The film does have its warts as it makes some choices that are not the best for the material. While those choices are questionable they do look good as they are being made. With Arthur being more of a street thug, the polished edges that are usually associated with King Arthur are gone. What we get instead is someone who lives within his own rules that help him and that the ones he cares about survive. “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is a entertaining film much in the same way as Nascar is entertaining. Sure there can be a lot of boring parts and expected left turns, but the wrecks entertain us enough to forget the rest. And its all about getting to the finish line. I am not going to lie; I kind of dug this movie, as Ritchie does just enough to keep me aboard with his familiar sense of style. There have been more than a fair share of failed attempts as this story but in my book “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is not one of them. It’s as entertaining as Ritchie can get.