King Arthur: Legend of the Sword opened in Australian cinemas today and before audiences had the chance to lay eyes on Guy Ritchie’s sword swishing fantasy, the stink began to build around it like a day old salmon bagel left to congeal on Bondi Beach.
For those of you opting to see Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two a second time around or think yourself above the indignity of sitting in a sticky cinema over the weekend and subjecting your eyeballs to a mid-level mainstream movie (no judgement, hipsters are people too) here’s what goes down in King Arthur:
Jude Law and Eric Bana are basically the Scar and Mufasa of the ye old Arthurian times.
Law has a wild yearning for Bana's throne and in order to juice himself up with the necessary magic to procure it, he takes his own wife down into to the castle's dungeon, a dank room of pain that even Christian Grey would find terrifying, and stabs her in the stomach. All while whispering to her that he loves her so.
Yeah, just conjure up that visual the next time you want to complain about a bad Tinder date...
Law then tosses his wife's body into the water where Ursula The Sea Witch's less attractive sister accepts the sacrifice and unleashes a demon knight who slaughters Bana and Cara Delevingne's sister, who I believe is Bana's wife.
Only their tiny mute son escapes in a boat.
I assume there was some kind of time jump here, since everyone else stays the same age but small mute son is now a wildly sexy (and vocal) Charlie Hunnam, so we must be a few years in the future.
Charlie is now called "Arthur" (see what they did there?) and resides in the local brothel where he was raised by a batch of friendly prostitutes he now protects. Which to be frank is the creative direction I believe Annie should have taken.
I actually would have been happy for the movie to end here, as this whole situation has already given me a lot to ponder. But we're only fifteen minutes through this sprawling big screen epic and there's a lot more to go.
Charlie/Arthur is taken to Law's castle where all the young men in the kingdom are forced to try and yank this pesky sword out of a stone.
(All the ladies in Cinderella had to do was take a seat and have a shoe gently eased onto their foot. And yet, the feminists are STILL complaining about equality. Ugh.)
And then comes the moment we've all been waiting for.
David Beckham is here and he's about to act the sh*t out of this thrilling adaption of The Lion King....With Swords. We've been hearing about this cameo for many long months but I can tell you right now that his acting ability has been vastly underplayed.
First up, on the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Wikipedia page, his character is billed simply as "Trigger" and what it fails to mention is that he is the one who actually instructs Charlie/Arthur to pull the sword from the stone.
The other guards and soldiers around him growl their lines in voices as deep as the Grand Canyon, so it's almost a relief when Beckham's lilting British accent instructs him to pull the sword or die.
I can just see David practicing those lines over and over again in his bathroom mirror while Victoria rolls her eyes behind her cats-eye sunglasses and thinks that back in HER day, movies didn't even HAVE scripts.
Spiceworld was all done off the cuff and it was perfectly fine, thank you very much.
There's just a whole lot of swashbuckling after this (and one very big snake) as Arthur/Charlie and Law duke it out for the keys to the kingdom.
I mean, if that breakdown doesn't make you stop the car, put the kids out on the side of the road and head straight to the movies then I don't know what will.
Yet, a whole lot of people are still not seeing those movie. And, according to box office stats, Beckham is going to have to start taking to the streets and auctioning off Victoria's Birkin bags in the dead of night just to make up the difference.
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As of last night, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword has grossed $16.6 million in the United States and Canada and $35.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $52.4 million, against a production budget of $175 million.
One of the biggest complaints against the film is that it opened on Mother's Day weekend but failed to feature any actual characters of the female persuasion, which I'd like to say is not exactly true.
Cara Delevingne's sister was there, it's not the director's fault that she got herself killed just minutes into the film.
There's also a magical female character called "The Mage", who yes, to be fair, is never given an actual name. But she's a little busy controlling the forces of nature and sending Charlie/Arthur into a dreamland where he's attacked by giants rats. So she's probably just a little busy.
In fact, there's actual an entire SCENE where female characters outnumber male characters eight to one.
In this scene, the women are a swirling, writhing mess of sea witches with twitching tentacles, but they only talk about their thirst for human blood and not about any cute guys they're into.
So they totally passed The Bechdel Test, you annoying naysayers.
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Also, during Mother's Day weekend, we were gifted with an all-female cast in the comedy offering Snatched and critics promptly tore it to shreds.....I won't say I told you so, as I feel this is a more "you reap what you sow" kind of scenario.
At the end of the day King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a sassy adventure that does not quite know what it wants to be and doesn't really stick the landing.
But still go see it, if only for the David Beckham-ness.
Hakuna matata...it means a substandard Guy Ritchie adventure.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is in Australian cinemas now.
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