I remember when i was a young boy, i used to go a lot to the local library in my hometown in the 80´s. This was at a time when you had no internet, and you read actual books. It was often when i decided to read stories based on historical legends that i became more curious to read. One book that i did read was about the story of King Arthur, the British leader who battled against the Saxon invaders. Once you started to read about this legend, it was almost like being in the battlefields with King Arthur, battling side by side with this king, letting the sword drill into the bodies of the Saxon army. The book i read at the time ( can´t remember the title ) was almost telling the story of King Arthur as a folklore story, so i don´t know what facts are supposed to be true or not, but it was a good book. Moving on into the 90´s, and it was in 1998 i became fascinated again by the story of King Arthur, through a television miniseries called Merlin from director Steve Barron. Even if this television series was mainly focused on the character Merlin, you also had King Arthur ( played by actor Paul Curran ) who were a very important part of this TV miniseries. Merlin have a wonderful cast of legendary actors such as Sam Neil, Rutger Hauer, Isabella Rosselini, James Earl Jones, Helena Bonam Carter, Martin Short, Miranda Richardson and many more. With a cast like this to the story of King Arthur and Merlin, this was a delightful miniseries to experience. I actually have the DVD somewhere in my collection, and it is worth checking out ( should be easy to find for a good price on Amazon ). In 2004, it was time for Hollywood to bring King Arthur to the big screen with actor Cliwe Owen as the legendary king. Actually a pretty good film, and if you enjoy violence on the battlefield, then you have found the right film to see. Director Antione Fuqia managed to bring the story of King Arthur forward in a more brutal way than before, and i appreciate that. As i was going through DVD releases in the UK, i found that one film have been released this summer that i have missed completely. A film called Arthur & Merling: Knights Of Camelot, and of course i had to see what this film had to offer. Is this one of the better movie adaptations of the classic story of King Arthur, or is this just a film trying to cash in and fool the audience?
Arthur ( Richard Short ) have led battles across the land, leaving his illegitimate son Modred ( Joel Phillimore ) ruiling Camelot. But his son have corrupted the throne of Camelot. Athur finds out what Modred is doing, and he is forced to return to Camelot with the wizard Merlin ( Richard Brake ) and the Knights of the round table to reclaim his throne.
If you are looking for epic battles between King Arthur and his army on the battlefield, then this film might disappoint you. This is more of an attempt to tell the story of King Arthur in a dramatic way. If some of the actors would have given a better performance, this might have worked more effective. Unfortunately, this film suffer with some bad acting performances ( not from everyone, but too many ). So this leaves us with what is left with this film, a story of King Arthur who is clearly in pain, both emotionally and physically. One thing i believe would have helped this film become more fun, is more sword fights. We do get to see a few short scenes, but between these scenes there are a lot of dialogue scenes. But i have to say, of the characters that this film bring us, King Arthur ( played by actor Richard Short, who you might recognize from TV series Mary Kills People ), he is one of the few who give an acting performance with his character. And that is too bad, because if we only had more battle scenes with King Arthur and his men, instead of all the dialogue scenes ( that feels drawn out just to fill in the empty spots of the plot ), we might have had a stronger story of King Arthur. Legendary actor Richard Brake ( who you all have seen in some of Rob Zombie´s horror films ) plays Merlin here, but unfortunately he is not in this film much at all. And to be honest, he does not really give a strong acting perforance either. Arthur & Merling: Knight Of Camelot does have some nice cinematography from Andrew Rodger, perhaps the best part of this film. And some of the locations of this film do capture the look of the landscape of King Arthur´s home. But other than that, there are too many flaws with this film. Director Giles Alderson ( who directed the horror film The Dare ) have tried to make a more dramatic film about King Arthur, and that was a mistake, when this film needed epic battles instead to please the audience. If you love King Arthur films, i suggest you watch the 2004 film instead of this one. There is one scene though that reminded me of Jean-Claude Van Damme 90´s classic Lionheart, when King Arthur fist fight against a big musle man, i never thought i would see King Arthur doing a Van Damme classic, but this is actually a fun scene. Maybe that is the King Arhur we need to see next time, a raw bastard who will fight anyone.