King Arthur (2004)

So, I am only going to say this once– Jerry Bruckheimer needs to stay far away from the Arthurian legend. Oh, God, I don’t know where to begin on this; all’s I will say is this: it is not historically accurate. Damn.

Okay, so Bruckheimer’s adaptation of the legend is not a bad film, per se, it is just pretty average. It massacres the legend of King Arthur but even so, it manages to do it in an almost charming way. I mean that the way it assembles the Arthurian cast and grafts them onto some pseudo-historical moments– some of which are true to history and others which are not true to history– is interesting to watch unfold on screen if only because it is like watching a child rationalize why Spider-Man, Hercules, and Peppermint Paddy became Noir crime-fighters. It is fun but in a pedantic way.

Since later on I will be doing a more in-depth review of this film over on my research blog, I won’t get into specifics of what makes it historically inaccurate. I will say though that there isn’t much really unique here: an invasion by barbarians inspires a group of Knights to rally with unlikely allies to save the peaceful fellows of Britain from tyranny. Boring. You’ve seen this film before.

Really, everything is more or less as you would expect it. Music is epic, the action is pretty PG-13ish, even in the Director’s cut version, and the characters cookie-cut outs of their namesakes. Honestly, everything is as it is supposed to be for a summer popcorn blockbuster. Not sure what to say other than if you absolutely need an action flick starring King Arthur, then it is watchable but other than that, search elsewhere.

In any case, expect me back later this year with a full review of this film which tackles the specifics of the historical errors and the “unique” historical twists which Bruckheimer gives the Knights of the Round Table.


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