Yet another lame retelling of the story of King Arthur and his knights.
I had wanted to see this in the theatre, but missed it (and word of mouth was that it sucked). I knew Mr. Otter wanted to see it too, so I rented it for my apheresis session at the Red Cross.
Now, if you’re flat on your back for two hours with needles in your arms and all you have to amuse you is the movie that’s four feet from your eyes, generally that movie takes up a large part of your attention, right?
Not this time. They actually took one of the most exciting and adventurous stories EVER and made it so boring that I was glancing at the clock every five minutes to see if it was time to go yet…the movie ended before my time was up, and it was such a relief that I took a little nap til I could leave. Whew.
Then I got home, and mentioned to Mr. Otter that I had this movie, and did he want to watch it before I took it back? It’s kind of sucky and boring, I said, and they actually made Arthur and his knights Roman soldiers… Oh, yes, he said, that’s the one that’s supposed to be historically accurate, they think now that they WERE Roman soldiers, I’ve been wanting to see it.
And he agreed, the suckage factor was huge.
Now, there were a few good things about it:
- Clive Owen, who played Arthur, was not only handsome in a Pierce Brosnan sort of way, but he (unlike Brosnan) actually seemed to have a personality and some acting ability…although looking at his credits, I’m not so sure that’s true. Anyway, he wasn’t bad.
- Kiera Knightley was ok, especially in the last scene where she was wearing very little (although Mr. Otter was disappointed, since the Picts traditionally wore nothing at all into battle…)
- They had a good fight scene where they did the Alexander Nevsky thing on a frozen lake…I came back into the video room to see that one again.
And that’s about it for the good stuff.
Now let’s go over to the Dark Side:
- Too long, too boring. I see there is a director’s cut unrated version; I hope that what I saw was this version, since I hate to think that there is an EVEN LONGER one out there…it was really, really tedious.
- The bad guys are the Saxons. The good guys are referred to as the ‘woads’ and seem to be the Picts, and are also getting stomped on by the Saxons, who are led by a guy who talks like Marlon Brando in the Godfather…and his son, a John Malkovich clone. Not very scary or intimidating, the Brits in Roman armor are much more impressive. Especially since several hundred Saxons at a time keep getting wiped out by six or seven of the good guys…makes you wonder why everyone was so worried about them…
- I was pleased with myself for recognizing the trebuchets; I was less pleased not to remember (as Mr. Otter disgustedly pointed out) that both they and the CROSSBOWS were medieval inventions, and no matter how cool they made the movie look, they did not exist circa 400 a.d. Nor was there armor piercing ANYTHING, that’s why the knights were so powerful…
- And why, whenever there were closeups in the dark, did all the actors’ faces get lit in wierd shades of purple and orange? was it supposed to look like firelight? if so, why didn’t they just USE firelight? because it sure didn’t look like anything but bad lighting…
- Hard to get all worked up about a battle when you know the two main characters have to survive to become King and Queen of Britain, y’know? this was a big problem with that Star Wars travesty, Attack of the Clones as well. Just kind of takes all the tension out of the big suspenseful scene…
- And it’s snowing like heck a couple of days ride north of Hadrian’s Wall, and cold enough for a lake to freeze over, but a couple of days later at the wall everything is green and springlike? Hardly.
And whatever Mr. Otter may say about new discoveries and historical accuracy, having Arthur and his knights working for the Romans, even if they are not strictly Roman themselves (they are Sarmatians who lost a battle and end up indenturing their sons to the Roman army in perpetuity, to serve 15 years and then go home and spawn the next generation of soldiers. Of course, Arthur’s mom was a Brit). Sorry, didn’t work for me. Throwing in a round table didn’t help.
OK, I’ll stop running off at the mouth here. Don’t bother with this dog unless you really really can’t resist…and don’t say I didn’t warn you.