ByAntonio Ferme, writer at
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Antonio Ferme

The movie is being released into theaters this weekend and fans started to get worried when the embargo still wasn't lifted days before the film's theatrical debut. The last time a studio resisted lifting the embargo for a big tentpole was with Fantastic Four in 2015, which managed to score a whopping 9 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sadly, King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword currently has a very rotten 19 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it doesn't look like it will improve by much as critics haven't taken too kindly to it. Let's take a look at what they had to say:

"It Is A Loud, Obnoxious Parade Of Flashy Set Pieces"

[Credit: Warner Bros]
[Credit: Warner Bros]

Blockbusters like The Fate of the Furious and Jurassic World showed a movie can still be successful regardless of the plot if the studio invests enough talent and effort into making the movie entertaining for the general audience and visually engaging. However, King Arthur fails to even accomplish that according to Peter Debruge from Variety, who claims Warner Bros has "flushed away million of dollars":

It’s epic, in the sense that it features elaborate CG backdrops swarming with thousands of virtual extras, and it’s extravagant, to the extent that Warner Bros. flushed away millions of dollars to produce this gaudy eyesore. But ultimately, “King Arthur” is just a loud, obnoxious parade of flashy set pieces, as one visually busy, belligerent action scene after another marches by, each making less sense than the last, but all intended to overwhelm.

Also, Jamie Graham from Total Film called out director , who is certainly getting blamed for this legendary flop, for constantly crossing the line between "visionary and hodgepodge".

There's a thin line between visionary and hodgepodge, and it's a line that King Arthur crosses and re-crosses with an abandon that rivals Hunnam's accent sliding from Cockney to Californian and back again.

"Loud, Bombastic And Thuddingly Obvious"

Todd McCarthy from Hollywood Reporter didn't hide away from taking King Arthur to task either. In his review, the movie critic focused on the obnoxious style of the upcoming tentpole and discrediting the film for falling prey to the "gritty reboot" era and lacking the style a King Arthur movie should really have.

"Loud, bombastic and thuddingly obvious, this is a vulgar movie for vulgar times [...] There is not even an ounce of sentiment here, no romance, no Guinevere or Lancelot, nary a thought of “happy-ever-after” or the magical/mystical days of the pre-historic Britain of legend.

[Credit: Warner Bros]
[Credit: Warner Bros]

Scott Mendelson, Forbes' box office wizard, pointed out that King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is as much of a disappointing bore-fest as we all knew it would be in the back of our minds.

The end result is a muddle of disinterest even if the narrative propulsion total boredom. Hunnam is a bland hero [...] and in the end, despite moments of Gods of Egypt-level craziness and some subversions of chronological narrative to spice up generic plot beats, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is every bit as unsatisfying and generic as we all feared.

"It Has All The Necessary Elements To Be A Great Story"

[Credit: Warner Bros]
[Credit: Warner Bros]

Most critics seem to agree that King Arthur: Legend of the Sword wasn't doomed from the start and certainly had potential to be a great film. Alas, the film ended up either disappointing the critics or putting them to sleep. John Lasser from IGN made this very clear when he discussed how frustrating it was that this movie flopped because it had a lot of elements in its favor.

The most frustrating thing about Ritchie's take on King Arthur is that it has all the necessary elements to be a great version of the story, but rather than giving them to the audience as such, they are put into a blender and thoroughly mixed. The movie's unwillingness to simply show what is happening, and its incessant desire to be clever and funny, go too far and become off-putting. It has some really enjoyable moments and some truly interesting twists on the legend, but they become buried under unnecessary flourishes.

Kevin Sullivan from Entertainment Weekly expressed how his expectations were crushed and that "there's a good movie trying to get out".

Somewhere in all of this there’s a good movie trying to get out. The impulse to reimagine the tale of Excalibur isn’t a bad one. [...] Hunnam and his charismatic band of merry pranksters get lost in the sea of pixels. Which is a shame. Because King Arthur could have been a rollicking blast. Instead it’s just another wannabe blockbuster with too much flash and not enough soul.

"You Might Not Imagine Guy Ritchie's 'King Arthur' Could Be So Very Guy Ritchie"

Director Guy Ritchie BTS [Credit: Warner Bros]
Director Guy Ritchie BTS [Credit: Warner Bros]

Director Guy Ritchie is definitely one of the most "controversial" directors in Hollywood right now. Similar to Zach Snyder, many people criticize the director for not being able to tell a complex story while others praise him for his visual style. Matt Prigge from Metro believes that Ritchie should not be the one to take the blame as he put a lot of effort into the movie.

Ritchie directs the hell out of it — when he can. As in his undersung “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” he finds creative, eccentric ways to tackle generic set pieces. [...] You might not imagine Guy Ritchie's "King Arthur" could be so very Guy Ritchie.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have critics such as Alonso Duralde from The Wrap who told his readers that unless you are a fan of the director in "blam-blam mode", you will be incredibly disappointed with him after watching movies such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

If you like Guy Ritchie in blam-blam-blam mode, then “King Arthur” will be your grail of mead; those who prefer his work on a film like “The Man from UNCLE” — which feels like “My Dinner with Andre” compared to the hyperkineticism on display here — may find that there’s too much “a lot” in this Camelot.

[Credit: Warner Bros]
[Credit: Warner Bros]

Overall, critics have been very harsh on director Guy Ritchie and lead actor 's movie. Personally, I will be checking it out in theaters this weekend for the sole purpose of being able to form my own personal opinion. As for an average audience member, it is debatable whether or not they will enjoy it - that is if they even know it's coming out as the marketing has been extremely weak on Warner Bros' end. You never know...perhaps the studio will have better luck with Wonder Woman...

Will these reviews keep you from seeing King Arthur: Legend of the Sword in theaters this weekend? Tell me below!


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