In 400 AD, the Roman Empire extends to Britain and the Romans become impressed with the fight skills of the warrior Sarmatian people, which are spared, but have to send their sons to serve Rome in the cavalry for fifteen years. Only after these services, these knights are free to return home. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table have their last mission before achieving their freedom.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
All of the principal actors attended a two week boot camp under the supervisor of stunt coordinator Steve Dent. The training included horse-riding, combat riding, archery, boxing, sword fighting, weight training and wilderness social bonding. Because of his age, Ray Winstone didn't attend boot camp, but he had boxed in his youth and this was incorporated into his character. See more »
When Arthur first meets Cerdic he is on his horse standing atop a hill holding the Legion Eagle standard. He plants the standard in the ground and leaves it on the hill unattended and goes down to meet and talk with Cerdic. No Roman commander would ever leave the Legion eagle unattended as losing the Eagle was considered the ultimate loss and disrespect to the legion. In fact, the legion Eagle had a dedicated bearer and this was entrusted to a very senior and well respected legionary. See more »
By 300 AD, the Roman Empire extended from Arabia to Britain. But they wanted more. More land. More peoples loyal and subservient to Rome. But no people so important as the powerful Sarmatians to the east. Thousands died on that field. And when the smoke cleared on the fourth day, the only Sarmatian soldiers left alive were members of the decimated but legendary cavalry. The Romans, impressed by their bravery and horsemanship, spared their lives. In exchange, these ...
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There are no opening credits, not even the production company and studio bumpers, only the title. See more »
The film was originally envisioned and shot as an R-rated piece with corresponding graphic violence. However, after the picture had been edited, Disney executives demanded it be changed to a PG-13, hence necessitating a lot of effects work to remove the blood from the battle scenes. Additionally, a number of scenes were removed and rearranged, and some new scenes were added. In total, the Director's Cut runs roughly 15 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. These additions include:
during the first battle, aside from the additional blood that was digitally removed from the theatrical version, numerous quick shots have been added. These include: Picts dragging Romans off their horses and killing them; a Pict slashing at a horse with his sword, causing it to fall; a Pict decapitating a soldier and holding his head aloft, only to be beheaded himself from behind; a Pict hit with an arrow; a Pict impaled on a spear; a Pict hit in the back with an arrow whilst trying to get to the Bishop; a scene of a Pict being hit in the eye with an arrow; a scene of Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd) decapitating a Pict by using his swords like a scissors; a scene of Bors (Ray Winstone) fighting with his 'gloved knives'; a scene of Bors stabbing a Pict in the throat.
after the battle, in the theatrical version, the fake bishop (Bosco Hogan) has an arrow in his chest; in the Director's Cut, it is in his head.
a scene where the knights approach the real Germanius (Ivano Marescotti) with their weapons drawn, before realizing that all is well and sheathing them.
the conversation between Germanius and Arthur (Clive Owen) is longer.
a scene of the knights toasting their fallen comrades at the Round Table.
a scene where Germanius visits the knights as they prepare to leave, and they show him their disapproval of the mission.
the Director's Cut does not contain the scene where the knights sit around a camp fire talking about their prospective lives in Sarmatia.
a scene where some dead soldiers are found on the side of the road.
a conversation between Lancelot and Guinevere (Keira Knightley) about England and the weather.
another conversation between Lancelot and Guinevere, this time at night, where they discuss family and faith. The scene ends with Lancelot telling her he would have left her in the dungeon.
the first conversation between Merlin (Stephen Dillane) and Arthur has been edited differently with different takes used.
a scene of Bors sitting at Dagonet's grave, getting drunk.
the sex scene between Guinevere and Arthur is in a different place in both versions of the film. In the theatrical version, Arthur is seen in full battle armor, examining the broken image of Pelagius, when he is alerted that the Saxons are heading towards Hadrian's Wall. He runs outside, but when he appears, he is hastily putting on his shirt, and his hair is disheveled, thus creating something of a continuity error. The sex scene follows this scene. In the Director's Cut however, after the conversation between Arthur and Guinevere where they discuss his morality, they begin to have sex only to be interrupted with the news of the Saxons. The scene then cuts to Arthur appearing on the wall, putting on his shirt. As such, the scene where he is examining Pelagius's image is absent from the Director's Cut. The scenes have been edited together differently as well, with the sex scene in the Director's Cut being slightly longer than the theatrical version.
a scene where Cynric (Til Schweiger) is demoted for his failure during the ice battle. His frustration is much to Cerdic's (Stellan Skarsgård) amusement.
a scene of the knights leaving Hadrian's Wall amidst hundreds of small fires set by the Saxons.
the scene of the confused Saxons in the fog is longer, with more Saxons being chopped down, including one having his arm severed.
the scene of the sole Saxon survivor (Joe McKinney) running back to the Saxons is longer.
during the final battle, aside from the additional blood that was digitally removed from the theatrical version, numerous quick shots have been added. These include: a scene of a Saxon impaled by an ax in his chest; a scene of Guinevere stabbing a fallen adversary; a scene of a Saxon being stabbed in the throat; a scene of Guinevere stabbing a Saxon in his crotch; a scene of Arthur ramming his sword into a Saxon's throat; a scene of Gawain (Joel Edgerton) being shot in the chest with an arrow and pulling it out; the scene of several female warriors overpowering a Saxon is much longer and more violent as the women begin to literally tear him to pieces; a scene of Tristan (Mads Mikkelsen) slowly approaching Cerdic; a scene of Bors being stabbed in the back but continuing to fight; a scene of Ganis (Charlie Creed-Miles) fighting a Saxon inside the Wall; a scene where a Saxon is stabbed in the face; the battle between Tristan and Cerdic is longer and more graphic; the scene of Lancelot being wounded is in slow motion; the scene of Cerdic's death is longer and includes a new conclusion where he and Lancelot crawl towards one another and Lancelot stabs him through the throat; the fight between Cerdic and Arthur is slightly longer, with Arthur stabbing Cerdic a final time after Cerdic has whispered Arthur's name.
I have just seen King Arthur and what a disappointment! I have seen heaps of movies, and I am able to stomach a lot, having enjoyed mediocre films like, Van Helsing for instance. Van Helsing at least was silly, but had no pretensions of being anything else, King Arthur on the other hand, is a little movie, very predictable, filled with plot clichés that you have seen in countless other motion pictures, but has pretensions of being something extraordinary. Well, surprise, surprise it is not! There is not even enough camp in this movie to grant it a sort of je ne se quois to make it enjoyable. Even the soundtrack is a rip off of Gladiator, without even fitting the movie adequately. Hans Zimmer should know better than to copy/paste from is own work, some of us might notice!
Most of the acting is pretty good. I have especially enjoyed Ioan Gruffud as Lancelot and Clive Owen and Arthur, both of them make a very good effort given the silly lines they have, especially Owen who's lines are extra silly. Most of the actors are competent with the exception of Til Schweiger as Cynric and I felt that such a great actor as Stephen Dillane (Merlin) was completely wasted and given no chance to show is quality.
The direction was pretty bad and uneven. Antoine Fucqua doesn't show the talent he has demonstrated in Training day or even Tears of the Sun, the movie is a mess from start to finish. Visually, I must admit, it looks good. Slawomir Idziak's cinematography is really good and I hope to see some of his work in the future.
I have a lot more problems with this movie which I won't detail much further, with the exception of two that I cannot overlook. First of all, trebuches (the catapult thingies) were invented by the French during the 100 year old war, several centuries later, and not by Merlin. In a movie that brags about historical realism and accuracy, this strikes as odd. Besides, if Merlin had this kind of weapons, why not used it against the Romans in the first place? Another gripe, and this a big one, is the complete absence of gore! Did people in the "Dark Ages" not have blood? The battle scenes are violent but no blood! What's the point? Again if you want to have a realistic take on this period of history, why the absence of realism in the battle scenes? Do the filmmakers think that a PG-13 rating will get them more money at the box-office? Having seen this mess I seriously doubt it!
Summarizing, this movie is a complete mess with the exception of some of the performances, namely the Knights and most of all Gruffud's and Owen's acting. As for the rest, it is dumb, predictable, not very original in terms of plot and a complete disappointment! Long live Excalibur (John Boorman) that with it's 23 years it is still the best Kig Arthur story in movie history.
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