Starring: Clive Owen, Stephen Dillane, Keira Knightley, Hugh Dancy, Ioan Gruffudd
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writer(s): David Franzoni
Runtime: 2 hrs. 10 min.
Released: July 7, 2004
Bob Longino of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution referred to this film as “…a really, really cheap knockoff of Gladiator.” I’m not usually one to agree with professional critics, but this is one of the exceptions to that rule, as this movie did have me thinking, “Damn, this is almost like Gladiator, only not as good.”
The story centers around Arthur, who spends a whole five minutes (if that) in this movie as King Arthur, and his Knights of the Round Table, stationed in the British Isles. Arthur is actually a knight, as this was during his final pre-King days, and he and his men are about to be freed from their duty to the Roman Empire. However, on the day they are to be granted said freedom, they are dispatched on one final mission, to save a boy who may become the next Pope. This is due to the Romans leaving the British Isles, and the boy and his family are in danger of being killed by the Saxons.
During this mission, Arthur saves a lovely young woman by the name of Guinevere (Knightley) from a dungeon. This incarnation of Guinevere is more bad-ass than queenly, but, as expected, she’s hot nonetheless.
This movie takes a different approach on the myth of King Arthur and his Knights than what most of us learned about growing up. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, the story had me struggling to stay involved. Were it not for the ability of the actors to do their job (and for Keira to look as splendid as always), I likely would’ve left the room about halfway through. For that, this movie gets two stars. Don’t make this film a priority, there are much more entertaining movies for your viewing pleasure.
Review originally written in 2005.