A week after it came out, my husband and I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. I enjoyed the first GotG and I’ve seen most movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and enjoyed all of them. Two days later we went to see King Arthur because I’ve been a fan of the Arthur myth since BBC’s Merlin and, truth be told, the trailers looked awesome.
As I have had the fortune of watching a myriad of movies in my lifetime, I have learned the lesson to judge something based on what it’s supposed to be. In reference to movies, that means you don’t go into an Adam Sandler movie expecting Oscar bait. With that in mind, I didn’t think GotGv2 was a good movie and I think King Arthur was.
Don’t get me wrong, I was entertained by GotGv2 and I loved the scenery porn. (You can always get me with scenery porn.) And according to what I’ve seen, GotGv2 is being hailed as a pretty good movie, but when I compare it to what I’ve come to expect from Marvel …/shakes head.
When I watch a Marvel movie, I have come to expect good writing with strong themes and a solid plot. Also a nice tough of humor and style. The thing that let me down with GotGv2 is that the Guardians are supposed to be an amazing team/family (you can’t argue that family is not a theme of this movie) and yet they spend a majority of the movie unapologetically ribbing and the rest of the time being cringeworthily (I’m not sure that’s a word, but go with it.) mean to each other. Now I’m a fan of groups and relationships that have a healthy dose of insults thrown back and forth, but the problem I saw in this movie is that the team then did no real getting along and working together as a team.
There was a moment when Quill and Rocket were being idiots, switching drivers back and forth through the super awesome looking asteroid field. Groot fell on Quill for some reason and Quill picked Groot up, and tossed him over his shoulder (without looking or saying anything) to Drax, who caught and secured him. That is the type of teamwork of which this team is capable. That sense of knowing what needs to be done in a tense situation, and just doing it without need for communication. And that was the only example of it in the entire movie. Heck, the team wasn’t even all together at any point after Ego showed up until after the climax. (That’s not really a spoiler.)
No one acted like a family in any way in this movie, and they barely acted like a team. Yes, there was pretty scenery. Yes there were laughs. Yes there were cool awesome moments. But the theme, that family are the ones who are there for you, fell on it’s face and skidded off a cliff. As such, it was not a good movie in my opinion.
I walked into King Arthur knowing it was doing horribly in the box office, it had 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, and most reviews I’d read call it a ‘mess’, and I walked out having seen a good movie. King Arthur pulled me through the believable arc of Arthur and his uncle, with the other characters playing the roles they were supposed to. It had quick cuts and lots of spectacle, all seasoned with acceptable anachronisms. If this movie lacked, it was because Guy Ritchie wanted this to be a six movie series, and it shows in that some detail was just left out.
There is a montage at the beginning of the movie showing Arthur growing up. It it literally that, a series of quick cuts showing Arthur getting beaten up on the streets, learning to be smart, and growing stronger, that lasts only a few minutes so we can start the movie proper with him all grown up. I remember watching it and thinking: ‘Well this is ridiculously elegant, and most people won’t be able to follow it.’ and I feel like that’s what happened for the entire movie.
Let’s face it, I like this type of movie. The heavily stylized, very quirky, outside of the standard type of, movie. That doesn’t mean I think they’ve all been done well. The first 2/3 of Man from U.N.C.L.E. was beautiful, then that whole car chase ruined it and Jupiter Ascending needed another two hours at least (and a better lead actress …). But Speed Racer is my favorite movie of all time, I adore the recent Three Musketeers movie, and I am still pissed that they canceled Pushing Daises (not a movie, but same thing) Yet I know that most people don’t like this kind of movie. They continue to do poorly in the box office and get lousy reviews. And at the same time, I know I like it and that won’t ever change.
This article is not here to try and convince you that I’m right and you’re wrong about what kind of movies are good, (I gave up on that after Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) but it is here so I can express my opinion. And frankly these types of things do keep popping up, so there are other people out there who like this style of media. Let me know if you happen to be one of those people. I’d love to hear your opinion on Kind Arthur or any other movie you think didn’t get the love it deserved.