Review: ‘King Arthur’ is long, dull, and difficult to follow

According to TRLs Joe Cross, King Arthur is exhausting to sit through.

Courtesy of IMDb

According to TRL’s Joe Cross, ‘King Arthur’ is exhausting to sit through.

Joe Cross, Staff Reporter

Each year, before the summer movie season starts, it seems like there’s always a new big, loud fantasy movie that flops at the box office, usually featuring Gerard Butler as some sort of god and moments of unintentional laugh-out-loud humor.

Previous entries in this genre include 2013’s “Jack the Giant Slayer” and last year’s disastrous “Gods of Egypt,” and with their relatively small amount of success, critically and commercially, one has to ask “how do these movies keep getting made?”

The first in a planned series of six movies, “King Arthur: The Legend of The Sword” is the latest entry in this genre, and though it doesn’t feature an over the top performance from Gerard Butler, it is quite possibly the worst of the bunch, due to its nearly incomprehensible plot, unpleasant characters, and awkward tonal shifts.

Like any movie by “King Arthur” director Guy Ritchie, “Legend of The Sword” puts style over substance through the use of fast-paced, snarky dialogue, and frequent montages. Nearly everything that happens here is conveyed through a montage of some sort, to the point where the movie is absolutely exhausting to sit through. Ritchie’s style doesn’t translate well to the fantasy genre. The movie constantly shifts between feeling like an episode of “Game of Thrones” and a gangster film, resulting in a movie that’s unsure of what exactly it wants to be. Had it stuck to one genre, it could have been a much better movie, but as it is, it’s an obnoxiously messy blend of genres that frequently annoys.

This constant onslaught of montages makes everything hard to follow. At various points it is almost impossible to discern what exactly is happening and who anyone is, and what any of that means. Most action movies have relatively one-dimensional characters, but at least the audience is clear as to who they are. Here there’s little to distinguish the characters, as no one has a defining character trait, and everyone speaks in the same sassy, quick tone typical of Ritchie’s dialogue. It moves from scene to scene without leaving any time for the audience to reflect on or process what exactly just happened, and by the time the movie is over, you feel like you’ve just watched the trailer for “King Arthur” instead of the actual movie.

With some serious editing, “King Arthur: Legend of The Sword” could have been a stylish, if forgettable, summer diversion, but as it is, it’s just another dull entry in a genre that grew tired years ago.

My Rating: D-