Director Guy Ritchie’s take on Arthurian myth, starring Charlie Hunnam, is a mash-up of sword-and-sorcery action fantasy and geezers-on-a-mission caper.
Hunnam’s Arthur is a Mockney badass, a brothel-reared chancer ducking and diving in multicultural 5th-century Londinium, until he finally gets around to embracing his destiny as the son of noble king Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana).
A strutting, preening Jude Law plays Arthur’s treacherous uncle, Voritgern, the man who has usurped the throne, while Astrid Bergès-Frisbey is wide-eyed, witchy sorceress, The Mage.
The film veers between laddish capers, overblown battles and supernatural goings-on.
One moment Arthur is exchanging bants with the guys (‘You haven’t had enough porridge this morning to talk like that’), the next he’s going mano a mano with giant rats.
David Beckham pops up in a cameo, as one of Vortigern’s troops, but there’s no sign, of Merlin, Guinevere or Lancelot. They were probably being saved for the sequels, but on the basis of this film’s disappointing box-office performance perhaps they are unlikely to see the light of day.