KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD – A REVIEW BY HAYDEN PITTMAN

Now that you've watched a cool trailer, it's time for some real talk.

"King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" opened in theaters this past Friday, May 12th, and so far it's bombing at the box office, which was slightly expected. With a budget over $175 million, plus marketing costs around $100, this film will likely lose more than $150 million.

Director Guy Ritchie and Warner Bros plan to create a multi-film version of the King Arthur legend, beginning with "Legend of the Sword", but now I'm wondering if we'll ever see a sequel, let alone the proposed six films. Whether it's the quality of the films or the genre/material itself, it's a shame they can't get these movies right. Look at Ridley Scott's 2010 "Robin Hood" film. It wasn't a total failure at the box office, but received mixed reviews and no sequel. Just one example of many.

"Legend of the Sword" stars Charlie Hunnam as Arthur, along with Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Aidan Gillen, Eric Bana, Djimon Hounsou, and Jude Law. The film begins as Camelot is under attack, and King Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) is able to get his son to safety before being killed along with his wife. The young prince is later named Arthur, who grows up to be a smart, skilled fighter.

Uther's evil brother Vortigern (Jude Law) now rules Camelot and is in search for the prince who escaped. Young men of the right age are tested by being forced to try and pull the magical sword Excalibur from the surrounding stone outside the castle. When it is Arthur's turn, he quickly pulls the sword from the stone and it is revealed he is the lost son of Camelot. Arthur must ultimately decide whether to claim his birthright and take on Vortigern to make him pay for his crimes.

While I am a fan of Guy Ritchie and don't know what goes on behind the scenes of making this film, I'm not sold that he was the best choice for the job. I've enjoyed his films like "Snatch", "Mean Machine" and "Sherlock Holmes", among others, but his style is not for everyone. With his films, the tone, look, feel, pace, etc., often varies from the traditional structure or norm of many movies, which isn't for everyone. Think Zack Snyder of "300" and the recent DC Comics films ("Man of Steel", "Batman v Superman").

"Legend of the Sword" uses a strong lead actor in Hunnam, along with fast paced dialogue and action, a CGI filled medieval world and more to attempt to tell an entertaining adaptation loosely based on the Arthurian legend. This film is clearly meant to setup the rest of the series after giving us a back story and origin of Arthur.

As it stands, it's an incomplete King Arthur story, so I'll be crossing my fingers while also not holding my breath for a sequel. I honestly don't know whether putting some work into a sequel or waiting a few years and starting over would be the better path. Again, think Scott's "Robin Hood" (origin story, no sequel, future planned reboot). Side note: Ritchie has been contracted to helm the new "Aladdin" film and I seriously hope it's better than this.

In the end, it's not a total loss as this film does feature an interesting cameo from English footballer David Beckham as a medieval soldier. His role is brief, but entertaining if your familiar with the soccer player.

If you're a "King Arthur" fan like me and have nothing better to see, then check out "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword", now in theaters, but don't get your hopes up for a top notch film.

This film is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, some suggestive content and brief strong language. Running time is 2 hours and 6 minutes.