I saw King Arthur last night and it reminded me of a tip I've been wanting to share with Hollywood for a long time: when making historical fiction and doing a close-up of your leading man, don't focus on his pierced ears. Not that I have anything against pierced ears, having them myself, but with Arthur being a Roman centurion, having two delicate pierces in his left ear instantly reminds the audience what century this guy was really from.
And that pretty much sums up the movie. It was awful.
I really wasn't expecting a comedy and I don't think the director was, either. Probably the biggest knee-slapper was the leader of the Saxon army. Not only did he look like Willie Nelson on a bad hair day (trite expressions are perfect for this movie), but he sounded like him to boot. There's nothing like making the lead bad guy look like a grumpy country/western singer in a dirty bathrobe to kill dramatic tension. And when he walked away from his meeting with Arthur and said ... er, grumbled ... something along the lines of "finally a man worth killing" it was all I could do not to bust a gut. Fortunately, Willie didn't keep spouting off about freedom. He was the only leading character who didn't.
Bruckheimer made up for his country/western bad guy by taking an interesting idea and killing it with insipid dialogue. Arthur said "freedom" and "all men are born equal" so many times that if he had referred to the Saxons as terrorists, the audience wouldn't have batted an eyelash. The Saxons weren't any better. They were all bad, all the time. Their only facial expression was a sneer and if I accused Bruckheimer of making them one-dimensional, I'd be overly generous. Willie was "burn it all," "kill 'em all," and he even managed a grunt or two.
And then there's Guinevere This was a silly male action movie with a woman tossed in for fuckable goodness and a fight scene or two. However, if her ridiculous get-up in the final battle wasn't stupid enough (did she dress for maximum hotness with the intent of distracting her enemies to death?), there was a love scene with Arthur that was, well, boring. Guinevere was hot, so how Bruckheimer contrived to make a boring love scene with her, I don't know. I'm sure it's a skill that few have mastered. Oh, and she talks with Arthur about freedom a lot.
Oh, and did I mention how bad the dialogue was? After some initial laughs, the "I've slept with your girlfriend" jokes get a bit old after a while. And sorry, but I've heard the "my dick looks like a baby's arm holding an apple" line far too many times to think it was funny in this film.
And did I mention how much Arthur kept spouting off about freedom?