Time Out says
Surprisingly, producer Jerry Bruckheimer (‘Black Hawk Down’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’) and dir-ector Antoine Fuqua (‘Training Day’) have ditched much of the familiar legend in favour of fresh historical claims for their Arthur (Clive Owen), who is the product – we are told during the opening credits – of spanking new, but unrevealed, archaeological evidence. The film discards the usual Arthurian mood of courtly romance and instead celebrates the nitty-gritty of the Dark Ages: a time when the Roman army was withdrawing from Britain and Saxon warriors, led by a cowboy-like Stellan Skarsgård, were on the attack. Arthur himself is Romano-British and, as such, is experiencing a crisis of identity while leading his knights in defence of his homeland and wallowing in the inherited values of Rome (‘freedom’ being his familiar catchword).
All this back story is a confusing, over-long preamble to a series of quite exciting battles. Ultimately, though, Owen fails to muster enough charisma to carry the film, and an impish Keira Knightley as Guinevere is a little red-
undant, despite the unfulfilled, longing glances she exchanges repeatedly with Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd). A simpler story would have suited the bombastic Bruckheimer style.
Cast and crew