Guy Ritchie’s film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, a camp, homoerotic spectacle

Guy Ritchie's film King Arthur
Although retired since 2014, I still relish opportunities to teach, write, and share opinions.

This is a tongue-in-cheek review of the ridiculously over-the-top film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (hereinafter, King Arthur). King Arthur is the latest film from director Guy Ritchie’s fevered mind. Can any man survive being married to Madonna and still be straight on the Kinsey Scale?

Reeking with testosterone, this fantastic retelling of the King Arthur legend has something for everyone: lingering camera caresses of the male stars; CGI special effects; brothels; sword fights where Arthur decimates fifty men with his enchanted weapon (his sword); women brutally murdered; a lesbian octopus demon (looking a lot like the late Edith Massey as The Egg Lady) with her young demon slaves; women who are violently assaulted or murdered; Jude Law’s outrageous fetish costumes as the uncle who slew his brother, the King, Arthur’s father (the very fine-looking Eric Bana as King Daddy); and extremely bad drag in the person of Mordred. These instances are only samples.

We don’t meet the star, Charlie Hunnam as Arthur, until later in the film. Baby Arthur has been set afloat (much like Moses or Prospero) to drift to Londinium after the fall of Rome. Prostitutes doing their laundry rescue the princeling from the bullrushes. We see him being beaten, and learning self-defense at the hands of an Asian martial arts master somehow transported to medieval London. This provides some action later on, in sequences that might be termed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Drag Queen. Arthur becomes a sort of urban Robin Hood, until …. But I shall not give away the entire plot.

Let’s just say that along the way we meet Guy Ritchie in a cameo as a landlord and David Beckham in a cameo role sporting lovely rubber and leather fetish wear. We also get to see Jude Law wearing a spectacular off-the-shoulder ermine as he casts sheep’s eyes at creepy Mordred. As Eric Bana’s King tells us in a voiceover, his brother was never the same after he spent a summer vacation with Mordred.  Mordred looks like a drag nightmare, an African fetish sculpture (without the nails) come to life with fabric scraps tied all over his slip. He could be wearing the same costume King Pentheus might wear in The Bacchae. Lovely Eric Bana destroys Mordred without a hair out of place. This film will inspire our gay and bisexual brothers to imagine unmentionable acts with Bana, Law, or Hunnam which might include swordplay, costumes, bearskins, kitchen islands, swimming pools, or carpeted stairs.

Since Charlize Theron was busy doing other evil queens, Jude Law stepped in, doing a marvelous job here as the evil queen in King Arthur.

This film is rated PG, which probably should be short for “Pagan Gays.” King Arthur is a celebration of male beauty with killer fetish wear, furs (PeTA people beware), and Vikings (who need 12,000 English boys – for some unexplained reason). If you like special effects, noise, battles where nobody bleeds (except Arthur), and action to rival Transformers, look no further than this queerest of spectacles.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Warner Brothers, directed and co-written by Guy Ritchie, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “sequences of violence and action, some suggestive content and brief strong language.” Running time: 126 minutes.

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