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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than First Knight , in my opinion, but not as good as Excalibur or Merlin.
A very different portrayal of King Arthur, it aims to be the `true' his
torical portrayal. With all said and done it simply a different perspective, but fans of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table should be open to a different take on the story.

There was some things I liked about this and some things that I did not. The original...
Published 7 months ago by Gary Selikow

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars A hugely disappointing thing, wasting the talent of good actors and some really good ideas
I like very much Clive Owen and I like Keira Knightley even more, but I hardly managed to finish watching this movie. The story is simply boring, dialogues are dull, action scenes are ridiculous, and the description of Saxons and Britons could as well come from Asterix comic book.

The idea was actually quite good - recent findings confirm that some Sarmatians...
Published on 3 May 2007 by Maciej


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than First Knight , in my opinion, but not as good as Excalibur or Merlin., 17 Oct. 2014
By 
A very different portrayal of King Arthur, it aims to be the `true' his
torical portrayal. With all said and done it simply a different perspective, but fans of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table should be open to a different take on the story.

There was some things I liked about this and some things that I did not. The original story of King Arthur was indeed set before the Saxon invaders from Germany and Denmark succeeded in conquering Great Britain, and the Celtic peoples inhabited the island. As such the knights in shining armor often portrayed in Arthuric legend came considerably later in history. So I liked the idea of the costumes and weapons being closer to the age under portrayal.
I am not sure that I liked the idea of the Knights being `Samartians', men imported by the Romans as mercenaries from somewhere around the Ukraine. I don't believe there is any evidence for King Arthur and his men as being anything other than indigenous to Britain. I did however like the idea of Guinevere being a Pictish Princess - played by the dark and gorgeous Kiera Knightley. Though I thought it was silly not to have Merlin at Arthur's side as his trusted friend and adviser, and to rather have him as a sort of enemy of Arthur's.

The setting where brilliantly done, it came together well, and the caste was good. I think that Clive Owen added some force to the role of Arthur, and Iiked the casting of his knights especially Ray Winston as the rough and ready Bors.
The movie is entertaining and thrilling and comes together well, even if I did not like all of the way the story was written.

It was better than First Knight , in my opinion, but not as good as Excalibur or Merlin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining two hours - very little to fault, 25 Feb. 2013
I viewed the extended Director's Cut, and enjoyed it. When _King Arthur_ first came out on ordinary DVD I ignored it, due to dire press reviews. But what I now find is an excellent, surprisingly thoughtful, and well-filmed medium-budget movie. It left me wondering about the motivations of some of the original reviewers. Certainly this is not the expected (and drearily familiar) medieval version. Nor is it much like Boorman's fine magic-imbued 1981 _Excalibur_ film version of the legend (similarly hated by reviewers when first released, I remember). Instead it's something much grittier and much more plausibly rooted in ancient British history.

The acting seems to have been the main butt of press criticism. I found the acting generally workmanlike rather than stellar, and it all worked for me. There was very little "hamming it up", which was welcome. I suspect the director told the actors that ham was strictly off the menu. Everything else was first-rate: cinematography; costuming; sound; music; dialogue; the pacing; the battles, etc. There's very little to fault.

And then... there's the history. I'm pretty well read on ancient British history and archaeology. So I read right through the quibbling pedantry of the Arthur obsessives (all camped out on the movie's Wikipedia page, spears bristling and axes grinding...) with a critical eye. I came to realise that not _too_ many historical liberties were taken by the movie, given the haziness of the earliest sources. Dates are moved around a little; places combined; one of the knights gets a different name; the Lancelot and Guinevere sub-plot was cut for the cinemas (but is very neatly restored in this expanded release). The main historical liberty appears to be that Guinevere becomes a Pictish-British princess and the daughter of Merlin their leader. According to one of the very early sources she was perhaps a Roman. Or maybe a Roman child captured and adopted by the Picts? That would certainly explain why Kiera Knightly talks so posh (she is a little mis-cast here, I admit). But who knows about all that, as it's lost in the mists of history. It makes the film work as an epic, so it's valid.

Woad. Talking of Wikipedia quibbles, a very misleading statement on the movie's Wikipedia page is: "use of woad [blue body paint] by the Picts is contested by scholars". I actually followed this supposed reference to its linked source, and read the source - to find that it was a short movie review and actually it said _nothing of the kind_. Obviously none of the WikiPolice are familiar with Julius Caesar's own words... "All the Brittani [British], indeed, dye themselves with woad [for battle], which produces a dark blue coloring...", (Julius Caesar, _Gallic Wars_, Book V). It just shows that you can't trust Wikipedia, I guess.

Anyway, if you can make allowances for this movie not being a top-flight CGI-&-magic movie, and for tweaking the history a little, it's a very enjoyable and stimulating two hours.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood hams it up again., 9 Aug. 2011
I'm slightly surprised at the disdain this movie has received from some reviewers. Much like The Coens' The Ladykillers, the only thing it really gets wrong is the title. If this had been called The Last Legion or Eagle in the North it would surely have garnered more positive reviews.

As it is, probably for purely commercial reasons, it's been saddled with tinges of Arthurian legend which does take a bit of wind out of the sails. Like finding out Big Daddy is called Shirley. Step aside from that however and it's a great man on a mission movie; full of camaraderie, macho dialogue and gritty fights and some pretty good set pieces. The emergent dominance of Christianity is handled well with both sides of belief represented surprisingly adroitly and no disdain levelled at Merlin and his Pagans.

The story itself is quite gripping, too. Not original, but still well told. The last remnants of Britannia's indentured cavalry have their freedom revoked for one last mission, to rescue a child of the Emperor boarding in the far North and under threat from invading Saxon hordes. The sense of an Empire fast on its way to ruin, of stout men for whom duty comes first and of a people caught between changing worlds is captured vividly. This is a dark and dirty world and the film echoes that: The Knights on a suicide mission in a bleak winter land of very little beauty or hope at all.

Yes, it is overtly Hollywood: the ending is hateful and the voiceover just proves how dumb a studio can be (and how stupid they must assume their audiences to be.) Clive Owen is still a glowering, wooden lead devoid of empathy and character but here he is ably supported by an excellent cast, Ray Winstone particularly seeming to revel in being cast in his heroic role rather than as yet another gangster wide-boy. Much has also been made of Keira Knightley's battle fatigues but they are more dyed-in-the-woad than Xena Warrior princess. Certainly, you'd have to be pretty easily shocked to find them sexual and, as an ex-slave with nothing to her name and a fierce desire to fight, she is hardly going to have the epic battle dress and armour of the Legionnaires.

Overall, the Arthurian bumpf stifles an otherwise stirring sword and sandals tale that stands as better than The Eagle, Troy and Alexander combined. Overlook its faults and you have a fun way to spend 90 minutes that surprises, stirs and entertains. Somebody really should slap Hollywood occasionally.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A hugely disappointing thing, wasting the talent of good actors and some really good ideas, 3 May 2007
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I like very much Clive Owen and I like Keira Knightley even more, but I hardly managed to finish watching this movie. The story is simply boring, dialogues are dull, action scenes are ridiculous, and the description of Saxons and Britons could as well come from Asterix comic book.

The idea was actually quite good - recent findings confirm that some Sarmatians cavalrymen served in Britannia at the end of Roman empire and some of them probably stayed there, marrying local women, converting to Christianity and joining the fight against the Saxon invaders. Their fighting style and the custom of worshiping God by praying to the swords planted in the ground could really be one of the origins of the myth of Excalibur and the Knights of the Round Table. But the idea was completely wasted by the nonsensical screenplay.

Also, the presentation of early Christian church, as a bunch of slavers and thugs is simply demeaning. The mention of Pelagius and his heresy is interesting, but serves only to further Christian bashing.

After choosing to introduce Inquisition in the history SEVEN HUNDRED years before its real appearance, the director also presented V century Saxons like some kind of Nazis, obsessed with an ideal of Germanic racial purity, which considering the mores of the age is simply a total absurdity.

But all of this I could forgive, if at least the beauty of Arthurian England was shown, the action scenes were good, if there were some interesting dialogues and at least some humour, some drama and some romance - but all those elements are missing in action...

Frankly, do not waste your money and your time - this movie is simply worthless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In accurate history., 12 May 2014
By 
H (Oxfordshire) - See all my reviews
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A good film, not actuate to history and more effort should of been made to recreate the facts. some great actors in this movie but not sure it's a good role for Kiera Knightly. Would she really of been fighting a war in leather bra and knickers? All the men have body armour and protection from the cold but she walks around in thin dresses or her skimpy leather outfit!!! One of ioan Gruffudds best performances as Lancelot. Clive Owen, Mads Mikkelsen, Ray Winston etc all great entertainment. Shame about the wardrobe department and the history lesson. But a good watch.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 'IN DAYS OF OLD WHEN KNIGHTS WERE BOLD', 6 July 2013
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: King Arthur [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
'Arthur' and his 'Sarmatian' Knights have served their time, 15 years of
fighting for 'Rome'
however before freedom is finally granted they are ordered to complete one
further mission.
their task -- they are to travel north into the lands of the 'Woads' to
bring back the 'Pope's' favourite nephew who with his father lives in
an isolated outpost set deep inside 'Wode' territory.
the mission becomes even more dangerous because of a new threat posed by
invading Saxons.
at the outpost they find a compound walled up, among those left to perish
'Woad' 'Guinevere' ( who of course is freed by 'Arthur' )
the 'Saxon' army is not only a threat to 'Merlin's' people in the north.
it is also a threat to those south of Hadrian's Wall behind which the
'Roman' legions are withdrawing.
both those north and south of the Wall now have a common enemy........
the invading 'Saxon's'
perhaps there are one or two 'casting' issues on board however though a
a film of recent years it is an action-packed epic adventure surely well
worth revisiting.
if like myself you have interest in the legend of King Arthur and Camelot
perhaps the one film that closely follows the well known legend and well
worth seeing if you have not yet done so, is the movie 'Excalibur'
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of the Earliest BDs, 17 Feb. 2014
By 
ToughCustomer86 (New England, USA.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: King Arthur [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I really like the UK version of this uniquely British legend, especially on Blu-Ray. The film has a slight green filter to it, I think it was intentionally added to mirror & honour the 1981 masterpiece of film: Excalibur.

This Director's Cut has some appeal to it, yet two things I didn't like were: the opening fight sequence where Arthur and his Knights save Bishop Germanis from certain doom at the hands of the Pict fighters, the fight was extended and seemed to lose some of it's kinetic energy when compared to the theatrical release of King Arthur. Also, in this version we see Coitus Interruptis as Arthur and Guinevere are prevented from having their love scene. Overall I liked the theatrical version better. I may get the SD theatrical version as a companion to this early BD transfer. Oh, and the visual quality is sub-par for what Blu-ray is capable of nowadays, but for a 2006 transfer this disc is not too shabby.

Wish I could find the theatrical version on HD-DVD or Superbit!
King Arthur was my favourite movie of 2004, and I watched it like a 100 times on the Encore Action channel in 2006...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ruined by miscasting and poor writing, 6 Mar. 2013
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Unfortunately Clive Owen was terribly miscast for this film. He is wooden and utterly unbelievable as King Arthur, and there is zero chemistry between him and the unconvincing Keira Knightley. The supporting cast do the best they can, given the circumstances. The battle scenes are brutally visceral and enjoyable. This could have been so much better, but alas it fails to be the epic it aspires to be.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good cut and thrust action movie, 17 July 2013
By 
BlackBrigand (Norfolk UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
KING ARTHUR Director's Cut DVD

In my opinion this is another of those historical epics that rather missed the mark when it came to historical accuracy or authentic atmosphere and dialogue but never-the-less I found it an enjoyable hack and slash romp which would probably have stood on it's own without needing the King Arthur tag, just as a 5th. Century Roman adventure.

The production was good and the Irish location scenery was moody, atmospheric and beautiful and merged with the computer enhancements expertly as were the special effects generated for the battles, particularly the frozen river sequence.

Not the best historical actioner ever made and none of the very respectable cast stand out or shine in their poorly scripted roles but somehow it has turned out to be a very enjoyable, watchable action movie which I like enough to upgrade to the director's cut edition.

Rather poor historically but great fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rose, 11 Sept. 2013
By 
Deeds not words (London, England. U.K.) - See all my reviews
I have read all the knowledgeable and acid reviews that have been given on this production of King Arthur and they do not really impress me. I mostly prefer to be entertained with fictional stories and I love fairy stories too. What is wrong with information or events that are not real, but rather, imaginary and even theoretical. I also enjoyed the attempt to provide a different explanation to the King Arthur legend and I liked the reference to the original Celtic/Gaelic Tribes of our country. The original Britons/Celtic people of the England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were indeed pushed to the extremities of our country by an assortment of invading nations from Denmark, Norway, Italy, Germany, France etc. We are all descendants of people from many countries. Who are the real Britons these days and does it really matter? I enjoyed the film.
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King Arthur [DVD] [2004] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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