Somehow the words total and complete failure doesn’t capture just how badly Arthur fails as a movie. It is one of the worst movies ever and totally isn’t worth the $20 price tag on the DVD.
The story of King Arthur has been told many different ways by many different people. Everyone of them have seen a unique aspect and added something to the story, that is every one except for director Antoine Fuqua and producer Jerry Bruckehimer.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle saw a story of British patriotism. Marion Zimmer-Bradley saw a story of pagan beliefs being supplanted by Christianity in Mists of Avalon. Disney saw a coming of age story in the Sword in the Stone. Bruckheimer and Fuqua looked at it and saw an excuse to have some massive battle scenes in a by-the-numbers adventure story.
They de-mythed the story so much the movie really isn’t about anything other then churning out a cheesy popcorn flick. I would be cautious about spoiling the story in this review, except there isn’t any story in the movie so what is there to be cautious about.
The whole movie is framed around three battles, the introductory battle, the middle of the movie battle (Saxons on ice) and the final, predictable battle where the evil Saxons are defeated at Baydon Hill. They also take some needless shots at Christianity for some reason. For good measure there is a romance with some massive flesh shots thrown in.
This movie wouldn’t be quite so offensive if it didn’t purport to be somewhat historically accurate. Arthur is so disrespectful to the legend and to history some parts are laughably wrong to anyone who knows anything about English history
A quick list of woefully inaccuracies in the movie:
- The final movie battle takes place right next to Hadrian’s Wall but for some reason the battle is named after a hill in south central England. The real battle of Baydon hill was fought hundreds of miles to the south and likely a century or so after the movie takes place.
- They all speak in perfect, modern English accents. While I realize most people don’t have degrees in English like I do and wouldn’t enjoy a movie done in proper dialect they could have at least made an attempt to make it sound a little bit more authentic.
- The Saxons in the movie invade Scotland in a massive army. Yeah, this never happened, the Saxon invasion wasn’t an invading army, but rather a hostile migration. The Saxons from the low countries and parts of Germany. They started to move into the western shores, not invading Scotland.
- Guinevere is a blue painted Pict warrior chick. Last time I checked Guinevere was a French name, not something a tribe in southern Scotland would have used.
I know I’m not going to convince all the cattle-like audience that this is a bad, bad horrible movie that is not only historically inaccurate but bad story telling. Course that doesn’t mean I won’t try.