run time: 126 mins
considered: Action, Adventure, Drama
starring: Clive Owen, Ioan Gruffudd, Mads Mikkelsen, Joel Edgerton, Hugh Dancy, Ray Winstone, Ray Stevenson, Kiera Knightley, Stellan Skarsgård,
movie summary: A demystified take on the tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. (www.imdb.com)
The legend of King Arthur is a story that has passed down from generation to generation about one of the most heroic and brave leaders of the British armies. One of his claims to fame is defending the Empire during a Saxon invasion in the early 6th century. Historians still debate to this day the real story of King Arthur and his famous Knights of the Round Table, but that hasn’t stopped Hollywood and writers from telling this famous tale in many different ways.
This version of the story begins when Arthur (Clive Owen) is recruited along with several other boys to serve the British army for 15 years. These young boys Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd), Tristan (Mads Mikkelsen), Gawain (Joel Edgerton), Galahad (Hugh Dancy), Bors (Ray Winstone), Dagonet (Ray Stevenson), grow into men while defending the Crown through some bloody battles. The brothers in arms are finally on the journey back home to get their discharge papers when the Bishop Germanus (Ivano Marescotti) informs them that his godson, who is destined to be Pope, is in danger. His village is north of the wall and is about to be attacked by a huge Saxon army led by Cerdic (Stellan Skarsgård) and his son who are killing any British people they encounter. Instead of getting their discharge papers the knights are now told they must go on one last rescue mission for the bishop before being relieved of their duties.
The knights, with a sour taste in their mouth, head north and rescue the people of the small endangered town. Arthur rescues a beautiful girl Guinevere (Kiera Knightley) who has been held captive without food or water for speaking out against God. Soon the knights begin the journey back with 30-40 people in tow, while the Saxon army shows up a day later. Cerdic is furious that everyone is gone, so changes his course and plans to catch the knights convey and then attack the city behind the wall. The Saxons speed up their pursuit and catch up to the knights in a mountain passage. Thanks to some amazing archery skills and some self-sacrificing actions the knights win the mini battle and get the people to safety.
Guinevere knows Arthur and his remaining knights will not be able to fight off the whole Saxon army alone so she introduces him to her father Merlin (Stephen Dillane) the leader of the Woads. Together she feels they will be able to defeat Cerdic and the Saxons who have reached the wall and set up camps waiting to attack. The men prepare to don their armour for what could be their last time, whether they survive or not, then head out onto the field to defend the Empire.
my thoughts: I remember that I went to see King Arthur in theatres 10 years ago because the trailer look amazing. This movie has a great build up of mini battles before we enjoy a long major battle to settle all storylines in the film. Clive Owen was a great choice to play Arthur based on his rugged looks and roaring personality. He has the fire in his eyes in many roles he’s played, and leading the British army into battle needs that kind intensity. Kiera Knightley is cast as a sexy/seductive Guinevere but is strong enough to hold her own on the battlefield. It is interesting to watch the other knights Mads Mikkelsen, Joel Edgerton, and Ray Winstone in minor roles towards the beginning of their careers before going on to star in other blockbuster films that have boosted their careers.
King Arthur is by far the best action packed film ever produced about the knights of the round table, although this film takes a different approach to showcase the sacrifices these men went through to protect their legacy.
my star rating: 8 out 10