There are very little redeeming qualities about this mess of a film, and it really is a mess. If I had to walk away with a positive though, I would say the music was pretty good for the most part.
So where to start.
The acting from Charlie Hunnam (I loved him as Jax Teller) is laughable. Almost as laughable with how "pretty" he was in one of the final fight sequences of the film even though he had just taken a pasting. He is so wooden, so unbelievable that it is hard to take him seriously or believe anyone would follow him. It helps then that the rest of the acting is shoddy too. The female mage is so flat she may as well be horizontal. David Beckham's cameo is out of place and painful and... Well what did you expect when they saw fit to employ "Denny from Eastenders"? The lad can't act in the soap, let alone a movie. Any time a soap actor appears in a "blockbuster" I get that sinking feeling... Let's not forget that Charlie started in Byker Grove though but we can't hold that against him. We can hold this film against him.
Jude Law was decent enough, stepping away from his usual type of character. One of the only characters you could believe in but one you're not supposed to like. The problem being, as he is the only believable character in the film - you can't help but root for him.
The rest of the performances were paint by numbers, collecting a pay check and if this was the best Guy Ritchie could get from them - perhaps he isn't fit for being a director? And - to be fair - he probably isn't. At least, this type of film. He nailed Snatch and Lock, Stock - that much is a given and there are traces of that directorial style in this film (characters recalling stories and flitting between them talking and flash back sequences for example) but the problem is - it felt forced and out of place here. Put with that the fact Guy simply cannot direct action - you have a problem. It felt like two films. One film where you can get suckered in with the stories the characters are telling and the other, you're wishing your life away watching rubbish CGI, limp acting and a muddled mess of a fight sequence. Seriously - why so many slow motion shots of Charlie cutting through wood?!
In one scene where he uses the sword, it happened so fast that I still don't really know what happened. And the fight at the end? I still don't know who hit who for the best part of it. Although, given how pristine Charlie looked afterwards, I am guessing he had time to pop off to a spa whilst the Big Bad fought alone.
The script is as much to blame as the cast and crew though. It's a mess, jumbled up with too many dialogue sections spliced with flashbacks that aren't necessary. For this kind of film - perhaps a more linear story would have made more sense? As mentioned above, it felt like a film of two halves because of the constant jumping back and forth and switching to medieval sword play. It was also trying to be funny when that too missed the mark. The audience laughed a couple of times (a couple more than myself) but that was it.
This is the first time I have stepped from a Guy Ritchie film and felt such bitter disappointment. Had this been someone's first film, I doubt they would ever work again.