Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

King Arthur and the Heavy-Handed Director

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Well, I read so many negative reviews of King Arthur that anything even vaguely resembling a half-interesting story would have been massively above my level of expectation. In that context, King Arthur has a few enjoyable moments: one decent battle, a few bawdy jokes from the lads, and a very satisfying end to a nasty Roman. That, of course, is not enough to make a good film, only a tolerable one. The odd thing, though, is this could have been an excellent film with the stellar cast assembled. The scriptwriter and director should probably be banned from the industry, because they swam through the ocean of cliche and predicability. The cast, including Clive Owen (Arthur), Ioan Gruffud (Lancelot), Ray Winstone (the knight Bors), Keira Knightly (Guinevere) and Australian Joel Edgerton (Gawain), all put everything they can into giving gravitas to this tepid dialogue, but they end up looking like Sharespearean actors trying to make the most of a poorly written dishwasher advertisement. Some sets look amazing, although the final set on which the film closes is just ... weird (can anyone say bluestone circle?). That said, I think Margaret Pomerancz's review from At The Movies sums up King Arthur most succinctly:
This is silly stuff indeed. Apart from the woeful declamatory dialogue provided to Arthur and his merry men by the writer of Gladiator and Armistad David Franzoni, director Fuqua never uses subtlety when a sledgehammer will do. The battle sequences are so obscured by the editing — I believe the film was recut for classification purposes — that you haven't a clue who’s doing what to whom.
It could have been so much better ... perhaps a director's cut with a more adult rating for DVD release will improve the tale, but even then I don't think even the most talented editor could make this a good film!

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