think I saw one trailer in theaters that jerked my bunny more than KING
ARTHUR’s did over the past year so I was understandably looking forward to
this. Unfortunately, it only made the disappointment that much more crushing.
I remember some distinctive thoughts going through my mind while I was
watching this film and since there was nothing on screen to distract me from my
own thoughts, I remember them clearly enough to state them as they flowed:
“oh boy! I can’t
bound to happen soon…”
“aah… is this the
poor man’s Braveheart?”
“oh boy! That
very impressed as you can see and despite a couple of pretty cool fighting
sequences, there wasn’t much in there of any substance that could carry a
movie for any type of distance. If such a thing existed, I would consider myself
a Clive Owen fan but unfortunately he and the others, including the always
lovely but highly misused Keira Knightley were given laughable dialogue to work
with and Fuqua’s not-so-subtle jabs at the Church were more of an insult to
one’s intelligence than beliefs. The Director’s Cut doesn’t add much
either except a few bucket loads of blood. One of the most frustrating aspects
of the movie was also the gross underuse of some talented actors who played the
knights such as Ioan Gruffudd (Lancelot) and Ray Winstone (Bors). I imagine we
were supposed to feel for their plight or for the way they had been treated by
Rome but so little attention was paid to their development, and in the case of Lancelot,
the wrong kind of attention, that it was difficult to even wince whenever they
went through any type of difficult situation such as bludgeoning by battleaxes.
of this however might have been forgiven if the story had actually been told in
an entertaining way but aside from a few swordfights, there’s not much save
for a caricature of a villain played by Stellan Skarsgård and a very phony,
very misplaced relationship between Arthur and Guinevere (Knightley) that really
doesn’t bare any resemblance to the legend as it has been known. That
relationship also leads the film to culminate into one of the most putrid
endings I’ve seen in a good while. I’m not sure where Fuqua will be heading
in his next project but after the lack of success of TEARS
OF THE SUN and KING ARTHUR, it looks like he might soon be knocking on
MTV’s door once again. There are worse movies out there but not many that are
more disappointing. I suggest you don’t waste much time on this.
Full-Length Audio Commentary by Director Antoine Fuqua: There's nothing I enjoy less after watching a movie I didn't like than having to sit through it again, this time while listening to the man who delivered two hours of boredom to my own living room. Don't get me wrong, Fuqua himself seems like a good guy but his slow commentary matches his slow movie all too well. It's a pretty standard track in which he discusses everything you would expect from his initial call from Jerry Bruckheimer to the wrap of the shoot. You can watch it with Knight Vision, a full-length pop-up info feature which dishes out relevant information about the film and its making.
Blood On The Land: Forging King Arthur (18 mins): This is the making of featurette in which the filmmakers and starts show up and discuss the shoot and the story. Again, it's nothing you haven't seen before in terms of casting, filming, writing, etc.
Cast and Filmmaker Round Table (16 mins): An open discussion featuring Bruckheimer, Fuqua, Owen, Knightley, Gruffudd and writer David Franzoni. They seem friendly with each other which leads me to wonder if this was shot before or after they all saw the final product. If I were any of these actors, especially Clive Owen, I'd want a serious word with Franzoni.
Alternate Ending (4 mins): There's an alternate ending which is slightly better than the one in the movie and listening to the optional commentary by Fuqua, he doesn't really seem convinced himself about either but seems to prefer this one. I wonder why it was left out of the Director's Cut?
Producer's Photo Gallery: Bruckheimer did this on PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN as well. I guess he basically walks around the set taking pictures of some cool stuff and they're actually pretty good. Only a handful are in this gallery but they led me to ponder what would have happened if he had become a photographer instead... I would never have seen the awesome TOP GUN but neither would I have seen the awful PEARL HARBOR.