This is an interesting film. Fuqua does not take the “Pete and Repeat” attitude like others before him have done. He doesn’t stick completely to the most recognized and overdone Arthurian narrative, and while I commend him for taking the narrative road less traveled (because Arthurian tales DO vary), I also have to say that what Fuqua did to the essence of the Arthurian tales is an abominable. I say this, firstly, because of the final battle scene between Arthur’s Knights and the Saxons. As we were watching this bloody and gratuitously violent scene, D asked me who I thought would win between the Saxon King and Lancelot and I said, of course, Lancelot does not die. Neither does Gawain!
But, of course, they do die. They die ’til they are dead. And Lancelot and Gawain are two of the most awesome knights Arthur has!
And while Fuqua makes a sickeningly obvious attempt to show sexual tension between Guinevere and Lancelot, it doesn’t do much good considering he kills him off WAY too early to cause any problems for Arthur & Guinevere’s domestic bliss! Ahh, the horror! The horror!
There are three battle scenes, “thoughtfully” placed at the beginning, middle, and end. The first one goes on forever and is way too much, just like the last one. The middle one is fair-to-midling. The endless slaughter is so…Braveheart!
And, speaking of Braveheart, turns out in Fuqua’s narrative, Guinevere is of the Scottish clans AND is a top-notch marksman, especially when she is wearing the Clan’s standard bikini push-up top and is painted blue for battle.
It was a decent movie to watch, but as far as overall critical enjoyability, I at least wouldn’t rank it lower than Troy in terms of narrative inconsistencies between it and the literary tradition, but it isn’t ranked much higher. I will say that Clive Owen is more convincing as Arthur than Brad Pitt ever was as Achilles. And another highlight was Ray Stevenson, who played the knight Dagonet (anyone remember that one from the Arthuriad???): he played Titus Pullo in my beloved Rome…oh, bring it back HBO, bring it back!
Oh, and before I forget: the film was about the most obvious propaganda I’ve seen for the spreading of British-American “democracy” EVER! Arthur brought Freedom to the Britons: Freedom at a very high cost.