My girlfriend and I went to this last night. To give you my perspective, I’ll go to most movies that involve swords and scantily clad women. I like fantasy. I’m not a big Arthurian buff though. My memories of the legends are basically Arthur is a hero, Lancelot is an ass kicker, Guinevere messes around with Lancelot, and Galahad is pure. Oh yeah, the table is round and Arthur swings Excaliber. I mention this just to say that I wouldn’t normally get real upset (or notice) liberties that they take with the story.
Clive Owen as Arthur worked pretty well for me. He definitely isn’t a pretty boy, which I thought was a good thing. He seemed to capture some dignity without being a pompous ass. The rest of the knights were kind of a mixed bag. Overall, I guess they were fine, but think of the heroes in 13th Warrior more than “knights in shining armor.” I really wasn’t into the casting choice for Lancelot. First we have Richard Gere as Lancelot and now this guy (Ioan Gruffudd). Sorry, but I always picture Lancelot as a big guy. Kiera Knightley is pretty fine eye candy, but her character seemed to change way too quickly in the movie.
The movie had me pretty well for the first 1/2 to 3/4’s. I would compare this first portion to 13th Warrior, which I liked. The end really seemed thrown together and sort of dragged. About the time that the Saxons arrived at the wall and the Romans left was when it went south for me.
Back to Guinevere, she went from half starved prisoner with a busted hand to smoking hotty to kick ass archer chick in less than a day of movie time. When did she find time to bathe? (or heal?) In the next day she goes from smoking hotty again to a Celtic woad raider. When did she find time to change outfits and put on the makeup?
Lancelot getting killed by the Saxon chief’s son was just wrong. I don’t mind Tristan being killed by the chief, but Lancelot by the chief’s son? This is the same chief’s son that Guinevere held her own with for about 5 minutes of movie time. So much for Lancelot being a matchless warrior. I did like the way they used Merlin though.
To me this is one of those movies that could have been good fantasy (and was even on the way), but they just missed with the ending. I guess if you are into 4th century fantasy, it was still an ok summer popcorn munching movie. It’s no where close to “must see” though.