‘King Arthur’ the underappreciated flop

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Derrick Jean-Baptiste

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is one of the most underrated movies of 2017. It is by no means the best movie of 2017 but it did not deserve the hate it received.

This lm has a 28% critic score on Rotten Tomato, a 75% Audience Score, a 41 out of 100 on Metacritic and a 7.3/10 IMDB score. Just What is going on with this film?

I usually agree with the critical consensus on like 90% of movies but this one I honestly just don’t see why it’s getting such bad reviews.

I loved watching a blockbuster and not feeling like I was being treated like a six year old for once. There were so many great moments where I was actually allowed to figure out something for myself rather than have the movie beat me over the head with it.

When Arthur gets rescued/captured and arrives at the camp, I was ready for the same old generic exposition scene I’ve seen a million times where they explain the prophecy or whatever dumb reason got him to this point. Instead the character actually talked through it himself and gured out what was going on like a normal intelligent human being instead of a contrived exposition vehicle.

I’ve seen some criticisms of the editing on here but I really thought that was this films biggest strength. It might be because I haven’t seen this kind of editing used in the fantasy genre before, but it felt really fresh to see all the interesting ways scenes were combined and how effectively certain cliches were compressed or skipped, like the scene where he travels to the dark world or whatever it’s called. Very efficient and interesting way of retelling a type of scene we’ve seen a number of times. I also really liked the way his childhood and transition to adulthood was edited.

I found all the characters to be relatively well written and performed, maybe with the exception of the Mage who had some questionable moments. No forced emotions that fell at as they often do in blockbusters (looking at you, Guardians of the Galaxy) no tepid love story, very few of the weak character moments that movies like this often fail to pull off.

There were a few weak visual effects and designs, but the vast majority of them looked great. The opening elephant battle really pulled off it’s scale and epic feel especially well. Wasn’t a fan of the design of the main villian, a little too World of Warcraft for me, but almost everything else was really well done.

This movie was shot on some incredible locations, and there were some genuinely stunning shots. I liked some of the unconventional framing and composition, and messing around with traditional film “laws” like the 180 degree rule though this didn’t work 100% of the time. It was usually good to great, though, and never shot in a standard or boring way. I love lanscape and nature shots and it nails those when they do show up.

I also loved hearing a different take on the music that wasn’t just generic fantasy orchestral music. Some really memorable moments of music in this one.

Overall I enjoyed getting a sense that people actually cared and tried hard when making this movie.

I’ve seen a lot of soulless blockbusters recently and this wasn’t one of them. There were tons of creative ideas in every aspect of the film, even if not all of them landed.


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