Kevin McIndoe, Y’s movie critic, shares his thoughts on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, The Dinner, Sarkar 3, Boyka, Undisputed.
The legend of Arthur summoning superhuman strength to pull a magical sword from a stone has proved irresistible to filmmakers down the years.
John Boorman’s Excalibur (1981), First Knight (1995, with Kevin Costner) and Disney’s cartoon The Sword in the Stone (1963) are some of the notables.
And in this outing, director Guy Ritchie turns his hand to a war-like take on the Excalibur legend.
Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) has grown up on the wrong side of the tracks. His evil uncle Vortigern (Jude Law) has done his darndest to ensure his nephew doesn’t claim his birthright and inherit the throne.
But you can’t keep a good man down, as they say, and when Charlie finally pulls the sword from the stone, then all bets are off and there’s going to be some bloody fighting, and then some.
Ritchie is a director with a recognisable brand (if not quite an auteur) who can bring in the audiences (eg, with the Sherlock Holmes franchise) but some of his efforts have been a bit, well, average (think RocknRolla or The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Still, the hallmarks are there: irrepressible action and snappy dialogue mixed with the kind of street-smart , sardonic wit we’ve come to expect from him.
The question is: does this really work in a medieval setting. Yes, but only just. The CGI is impressive but this time-honoured tale needs a bit more epic-style substance and fewer bellicose battles.
For all that, it’s clearly out for a modern audience that is not too bothered about the historical elements, and in that respect, Ritchie delivers. It’s hard to say if it’s blockbuster material, though.
The film also stars Eric Bana and David Beckham (yes, that’s right).
Review by Kevin McIndoe
When the mis-matched families of two sons who have committed a horrific crime get together to discuss how to proceed, you know it’s not going to end well. Congressman Stan Lohman (Richard Gere) is up for election as governor and can’t afford any skeletons in his closet. Meanwhile, his estranged oddball brother Paul (Steve Coogan) is unlikely to see eye-to-eye with his patrician sibling’s slick ideas on strategy. The trouble for the moviegoer is that not one single character invokes any sympathy or even likeability. Quite frankly, after half an hour of stilted script and dull, convoluted dialogue, we couldn’t care less how it ended. Give it a miss.
The third film in Ram Gopal Varma Sarkar’s trilogy about a powerful politician, Amitabh Bachchan is back as the ruthless godfather who places great store on family values. In this, Subhash Nagre (Bachchan) is once again at the helm of the family “business” after the death of his sons. He has to groom his grandson to eventually take over the reins. The trilogy has obviously been inspired by the Francis Ford Coppola Godfather series but what film hasn’t been inspired by another in some way? It’s not bad, for all that, with enough twists and turns to keep us interested while not quite hitting the heights of the American classic.
In this, the fourth instalment of the fighting franchise, Boyka (Scott Adkins) has a major meltdown after an accidental death in the ring prompts him to question his future. When he finds out the wife of the man he accidentally killed is in trouble, he embarks on a series of almost insurmountable battles to free her from a life of servitude. Y wasn’t able to obtain a preview screening for this, so we can only hope it lives up to the first in the series (the second was a little disappointing). At any rate, some of the best boxing movies always have a heart, so fingers crossed.
Oman Release Date: July 6