Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is getting panned

Ben Arnold
UK Movies Writer
Arthur… the reviews for Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword are in… and they’re not great – Credit: Warner Bros

How Guy Ritchie would handle the legend of King Arthur was always likely to be a matter of some contention.

And it seems that thus far, he’s failed to impress the critics with his – as one reviewer described – ‘geezerish’ interpretation.

Despite an all-star cast – Charlie Hunnam, Eric Bana, Jude Law and Aiden Gillan – the movie currently has a less than desirable 18% approval rating on reviews aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, meaning that the majority of the notices are unfavourable.

(Credit: Warner Bros)

“So misshapen and inert, your imagination and memory never come close to being sparked by it,” writes Robbie Collin in the Daily Telegraph.

In Empire, Jimi Famurewa pulls out one moment of ignominy in particular, in a two-star review.

“Ritchie’s geezerfied King Arthur occasionally sparkles before being scuppered by generic effects, conflicting ideas and an embarrassing celebrity cameo for the ages,” he notes.

“It’s a misguided, fist-biter of a performance — almost impressive when you consider it features a man who’s actually from Leytonstone playing an unconvincing Cockney — and the fact that this piece of stunt casting overshadows a hugely significant character moment for Arthur bespeaks the film’s pervading ill-judged, shouty feel.”

(Credit: Warner Bros)

Sorry, Becks.

Variety’s Peter Debruge wasn’t feeling it either.

“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,” he writes.

In the Chicago Tribune, Michael Phillips looks to the future, writing: “I’m no businessman, but plans for a six-film franchise may be optimistic. Optimism is nowhere to be found in Ritchie’s movie itself.”

However, Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian was slightly more impressed, calling it ‘a cheerful den of medieval dodginess’.

“The film rattles along exhilaratingly, if sometimes intermittently, like a fairground rollercoaster that occasionally stops and makes you get out and walk for a few minutes before letting you back on,” he writes.

Sandy Schaefer on ScreenRant adds: “Legend of the Sword’s brazen reimagining of Arthurian mythos, coupled with Ritchie’s style, makes for a bombastic yet entertaining King Arthur epic.”

With regards to that potential franchise that’s in the offing, it will now have to take a few quid at the box office in order to pull things around.

‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ is out across the UK on May 19.

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