This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
John’s review published on Letterboxd :
This review may contain spoilers.
Hate to agree with conventional wisdom on this, especially since my wife really enjoyed the film. But every time I was kind of getting into the story, it pulled me back out.
Many fun Guy Ritchie-isms can't overcome one of the wildest takes on the Arthur myth: as a ninja-trained gangster who runs a brothel, battling against an evil usurping uncle (Jude Law at his hammy best).
The whole thing is overlaid with a 9/11-evoking backstory about mages and humans being at war thanks to a rogue terrorist mage. Um, who attacks Camelot with giant battle elephants. But sure, I rolled with it.
And the squid witches. Who doesn't love a good squid witch? No one! I bet Disney won't put squid witches in their live action remake of Sword in the Stone! (Sure, they'll have them in the Little Mermaid live action remake. But everyone will be expecting that. Fools!)
Where was I? Oh yes. Charlie Hunnam is Arthur and he pulls the sword from the stone and it gives him visions of stuff he saw as a kid that he should probably remember already. But the vision is not complete until he battles some Rodents Of Unusual Size (trademark, Princess Bride) and also has the help of a female mage who looks like an undernourished 12-year-old and is kinda his love interest. Ew. But don't worry, there's no sex, because why be rated R for a good reason when you could do it for CGI fantasy violence and a few anachronistic f-bombs?
On the plus side, once the sword is working it lets Arthur fight inside a slow-mo tornado. That's pretty cool. And Littlefinger from Game of Thrones plays an assassin who is good at breaking out of jails. He fired arrows real good. And there's a giant snake who fights for the good guys. That's totally metal!
So yeah, it isn't all bad and some of the crazy bold choices the filmmakers made are dope. But some are dumb and I guess they couldn't fix them even with a year of postproduction. That's a shame. The Knights of the Round Table would have made for a really amazing shared universe franchise. Nothing is more disappointing than wasted potential. You know, like a blade that stays locked within a stone.