I went to see King Arthur today. I don’t know enough about the historical origins of Arthur to find the movie annoying. At this point, I’ve read Le Morte D’Arthur, The Once and Future King, Mists of Avalon and its sequels, The Dark is Rising series, Camelot 3000, and a ton of unmemorable fantasy adaptations of the Arthur myth. My favorite adaptation is the one where Arthur wears a Shazam t-shirt and fights evil with a glowing baseball bat. So at the beginning of the movie when there was some schtik about the true history of King Arthur and “archaeological evidence” I accepted that as just part of the story that goes along with this adaptation.
My expectation for going to this movie was that I’d see Clive Owen in Armor. Clive Owen in Armor! Say it soft and it’s almost like praying! Clive Owen does indeed wear armor, looks dour and haunted (he does that so well) and kills people with a sword. So, in that sense, it was an excellent movie!
But I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to. The future Dr Reed Richards, Ioan Gruffudd, does not have much to do as Lancelot except for smirking, acting horny, and yelling at Arthur from time to time. The relationships between characters seemed truncated somehow. I wish I had seen more Arthur/Lancelot, Lancelot/Guinevere, and more Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot. Keira Knightley is a very sinewy Guinevere, and she does slaughter her enemies well. The fight scenes were good, but not as gory as I thought they’d be.
I was reading an article about the movie production, and I wonder what would have happened if the movie had been able to carry an R rating as the director had originally intended, and if the movie had been released at its original release date of Christmas instead of being moved up to a summer release. I also wonder how it would have ended without an ending shot after test screening feedback. One thing I do tend to expect of King Arthur stories is more of a sense of loss or death. I wanted corpses, either sailing off in boats or burning, or burning while sailing off in boats! There were no boats! NO boats!!!!!
It does have Clive Owen in armor though.