Arthurian legends have always been a part of our modern society in some form or another, giving a glimpse into a point in time where not much historical writings were created.
Even though some parts may be fiction, others fact, and the rest a mystery, the few books and authors’ accounts that were preserved over the centuries show not only the glamour of battle and noble life, but also the characters’ internal struggles.
If I had to describe the new movie “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” with only literary examples and analysis, it would definitely have all those described qualities that made Arthurian legends a near-crucial part of society. Granted, the producers are not accurate in portraying how Arthur came to be among the poor or how Uther Pendragon was killed (the whole movie is incorrect in how Arthur became king essentially), they add flashes of his childhood, after the intro of what being lower class was like in the Middle Ages – which is to say, not pleasant at all.
Inaccuracies aside, the movie is spectacular overall in terms of graphics, with battle scenes including the “mages” and with the legendary sword, Excalibur, and Arthur. Battle scenes with the king and the sword are slowed down, not only to show the added abilities of Excalibur, but to also show just how badass powerful this sword is.
One interesting thing about the movie is the flashbacks and flash-forwards that essentially make up the movie. They’re both powerful and also a nuisance, to some extent. Yes, we get to see Arthur’s life growing up as the adopted son of a prostitute, have in-depth moments with some of the characters, including Uther’s brother, Vortigerm – the current king in he movie – and when they plan attacks on the king’s house. Other times, it’s more of a distraction when it comes to storytelling with the characters, the main distraction being when Arthur goes to the “dark lands” when two of the mages are arguing if he should go or not.
Time constraints are understandable, but this movie could easily have had a sequel, at the least. Even a trilogy could be possible if the movie were broken up more, or if there were less flash-forwards/flashbacks.
Overall, it was a pretty good movie. Would I see it again? Possibly yes, but even with that I’ll still give it a three out of five rating, because of lack of accuracy and overuse of flashbacks/forwards.
I even had a friend say that the audio timing is off in some of the scenes, however slight it might be. I still recommend it for those who enjoy a bit of fantasy, action, and Arthurian lore, though, unlike the legend itself, I doubt this movie will stand the test of time.