Thursday, May 04, 2006


RUN TIME: 139 min.

KING ARTHUR has got to be one of the worst pieces of cinema I have ever had the misfortune of watching. Even PEARL HARBOR, a movie I rate right at the bottom of the pile has a thing or two going for it. But KING ARTHUR is one of those rare pieces where I could find no plusses. I tried to will myself in sitting through the whole movie but I simply could not. I eventually had to do what I hate doing- rushing for the exit before the scheduled time.
The only thing I could give it credit for was the approach towards the characters. It was an attempt on the part of the director and the screenwriter to bring certain earthliness and a realistic edge to one of the most popular legendary figures. Again this attempt is not indigenous but inspired from BRAVEHEART and GLADIATOR that chose to weed out that aspect of this genre.
But that is where all good things end. The performances are horrible to say the least. All the knights are growling for some unknown reason. And it is quite apparent that the actors involved are under the impression that they are giving the performances of a lifetime because the growls keep getting louder as the movie progresses.
Clive Owen as the title character is particularly disappointing. There’s absolutely no aura in his Arthur. He might be a very good and trained actor but it seems he has a long way to go. Watching him I was so sorely missing Russell Crowe. King Arthur is something we have grown on. He is legendary and larger-than-life. But Owen brings absolutely nothing to the role. His Arthur’s inner conflict is desperately showy. There was not a moment where he was convincing. It is certainly one of the blandest performances I have seen for a character that offers so much to play with.
I certainly would not like to talk about the other actors as it is akin to suffering a great deal of torture and then living to tell about it. I want to ask only one question-Did anyone including Kiera Knightley even care to get into their respective roles. Everyone was trying his level best to bring to us the most brutal form of cinematic torture. I couldn’t understand what the knights were growling about half the time.
The direction by Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY) is dumb to the lowest point possible. I particularly would like to mention the ice-breaking scene which brought the summer action blockbuster IQ level to an all time low. I just could not understand as to why the crack went towards the villains. Or maybe the movie doesn’t want us to think. Even the SCARY MOVIE franchisee boasts of more brains than this one.
And in most of such movies the saving grace is the spectacle and visuals. To my utter disappointment there isn’t ant. Just a lot of fireballs and horses and greenery and that is the setting all the time.
As far as the plot is concerned I couldn’t find any. Maybe it was working on some other remote level where I couldn’t catch it.
KING ARTHUR is bad to the worst possible level right in the league of BATMAN AND ROBIN.
You would be hard pressed to find worse and dumber movies than this one.


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