Add this to your Netflix queue: King Arthur, 2004. Just popped in this 2004 classic and loved it. Granted I’m in a bit of a Game of Thrones mood as I’m reading the saga, but the film was a quintessential Arthurian tale that hit all the high points of young Arthur’s first years as a knight (pre-Camelot). Clive Owen as Arthur partners with Merlin to defeat the Saxons – led by none other than Stellan Skarsgard (Pirates of the Caribbean) who with every whispered battle command the volume on the TV must be turned up.
The photography takes on a noir effect with blue hues, especially on Guinevere (Keira Knightly) who first meets Arthur in this tale. It’s hard to believe that Guinevere is a feared Woad (the wildling group that later fights alongside Arthur), and seeing her run around the battlefield with two belts as a shirt does not paint the picture of our classic lady fair.
The cast of Arthur’s knights of the round table is impressive, and the battle scenes will have you gripping the edge of your seat with the best sword fighting I’ve seen in a while. However, some scenes wane over-dramatic with Arthur yelling to God and asking why….why, are his knights dying. Well, this is war, Arthur. There are other scenes that have Clive Owen displaying his stage presence with goose bump raising vigor, stating things like “There is no worse death than the end of hope.” So it’s a trade off.
All things said, if you like knights, kings, and maiden’s fair, this is a great film to put in your Netflix queue. The lack of CGI and animitronics that we have today lends a realistic effect to the film. A particularly harrowing battle is fought on a frozen lake that begins to shatter and take the enemy into its icy depths. The film is shot on location across Ireland and Britain. Also, as a horse lover, seein dramatic g the gorgeous breeds from that area is an extra treat galloping across the screen. The soundtrack is uber-but just right for the content, making you want to jump on a horse yourself and help Arthur out. If you can ignore the cheesy chivalry that peeks through at opportune moments, its certainly worth the 2.5 hours.
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