King Arthur Legend of the Sword Clips

Warner Bros. Pictures is hoping their investment in the medieval epic King Arthur: Legend of the Sword will pay off when the movie from director Guy Ritchie hits theaters in a couple of weeks. The studio recently enlisted the help of the movie-going public by having 200 AMC Theatres locations around the United States host free sneak preview screenings for members of their AMC Stubs rewards program. Reportedly over 30,000 people attended, but it doesn’t seem like the buzz is overwhelmingly positive.

So Warner Bros. Pictures is doing their best to still pull in a big summer crowd the week after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters, and to entice viewers, they’ve released no less than 10 clips showing off the action, humor and style of the film. Since I attended one of the sneak preview screenings, I’ll provide some context, commentary and reaction to the clips in question, as well as some brief thoughts on the movie as a whole.

Watch the King Arthur Legend of the Sword clips below!

All of these clips appear in chronological order, starting with the montage that shows Arthur (who eventually becomes Charlie Hunnam) growing up away from his kingdom. They end with a clip that I would probably avoid if you plan on seeing the movie in theaters. It’s the only one that’s from very late in the movie, and it kicks off the final battle. It’s not a huge spoiler or anything like that, but it does ruin a somewhat cool moment. So here we go.

Here’s the growing up montage that I just talked about. This comes after Arthur’s father has been killed (that’s not a spoiler since it’s in the synopsis of the movie and referenced in the trailers) and he’s been sent literally up the river to Londinium to live life as an orphan. He grows up in a brothel, working odd jobs to make money while also learning to fight from a nearby martial arts teacher. This is one of the most Guy Ritchie-style sequences in the whole movie.

Here’s the pivotal moment where Arthur is revealed to be the Born King, the one that Vortigern (Jude Law) has been looking for, fearing the heir’s rise to power. For me, this is one of the silliest things in the movie, because though Vortigern’s intention is to kill this man once they find out he’s the Born King, he probably wouldn’t have this problem to worry about if he just let Arthur stay hidden away in Londinium.

After pulling the sword, feeling its power, and passing out, Vortigern holds Arthur captive and they have this little exchange. It seems rather pointless and doesn’t really have much of an impact on the proceedings, but I suppose it’s nice to see Jude Law chew some scenery a bit.

If bringing Arthur to the sword itself wasn’t a dumb enough move, blackmailing him into refusing to wield the power of Excalibur is just the icing on the cake for Vortigern’s stupidity. Even if he thinks that Arthur won’t pick up the sword in order to keep some of his friends from the brothel he was raised in safe, that’s an awful big risk to take when you know that he’ll be quite powerful if he gets his hand on that sword. Anyway, this sequence is one of the more fun action scenes as The Mage (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) uses her magic powers to help a band of rebels free Arthur from this scenario.

Here’s where King Arthur takes a Robin Hood-style turn in the story as a group of rebels bring Arthur to their hideout in order to convince him to help them fight back against Vortigern. As you can see, Arthur feigns resistance, but then gives in after a bit of a scuffle with them.

Here’s the scene when Arthur decides that he’s fully prepared to take on Vortigern with this band of warriors and rebels. It comes after Arthur has to face something that haunts him from his past, just before he was abandoned for his safety. We won’t give away all that happens with that story thread, but the resolution of it is rather sloppy and it doesn’t really make much sense, nor does it feel dramatic enough to be such a prominent piece of the narrative.

Vortigern has realized there’s a betrayal in his midst, and he exchanges words with her just before another exciting chase sequence through the streets of Londinium takes place. This scene is the predecessor to one of the more exciting parts of the movie.

When the rest of Arthur’s crew refuses to run away from an impending swarm of Vortigern’s army in pursuit without the Born King saving himself first, the heir is forced to use Excalibur’s power to dispatch with the soldiers. The sequence is meant to be cool, but it feels really cheap because a dust cloud is brushed up because of the surge of the sword’s power, and it unnecessarily obfuscates the action. It essentially feels like a cheap version of 300.

Here’s the final clip from King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and again, I’d say don’t watch it if you plan on seeing the movie. This is the catalyst for the entire final battle that follows. Again, Vortigern is screwed by his own mistakes.

***

With very low initial expectations for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, I found myself mostly entertained by it. It plays out a lot like Guy Ritchie directing his own version of Thor. The action isn’t quite as exciting as a Marvel movie, but there’s a weak villain so it’s quite an apt comparison. What’s strange is that King Arthur doesn’t feel like a genuine Guy Ritchie movie, but almost like someone took a movie that had a more traditional medieval epic feel and tried to cut it in the style of Guy Ritchie. The only sequence that feels like it genuinely came from the director is that opening montage and some interesting action shots. Otherwise, it just feels like a traditional medieval narrative shaped into the mold of a more stylish movie that doesn’t quite land on its feet.

Acclaimed filmmaker Guy Ritchie brings his dynamic style to the epic fantasy action adventure “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.” Starring Charlie Hunnam in the title role, the film is an iconoclastic take on the classic Excalibur myth, tracing Arthur’s journey from the streets to the throne.

When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy…whether he likes it or not.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword arrives on May 12.

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