Early Screener Review: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (2017)



Facing certain defeat, Merlin banishes the evil enchantress Morgana, and her son Mordred, to the ends of the universe. Vowing revenge, Morgana and her son finally return to Earth 1500 years later, hell-bent on destroying every last modern day descendant of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

REVIEW: The Asylum's upcoming movie due out May 2nd, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, an obvious mockbuster on the upcoming Hollywood movie starring Charlie Hunnam, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, is a similar idea to some of their other movies where they take a classic story or legend and update it to take place in the modern age. Movies like 3 Musketeers, The 7 Adventures of Sinbad, 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 2010: Moby Dick, and most recently Sinbad and the War of the Furies are just a handful of their titles that were all done like that, to varying degrees of success. Out of all those types of movies by them however, this just may be my personal favorite one!


The plot really can't get any more zany than it does here, and we here at the B-Movie Shelf Reviews love our plots zany! Morgana gets sent off into space inside a meteor, returns inside a spaceship 1500 years later, looking like a hot BDSM version of Rita Repulsa from the new Power Rangers movie, but hey, I'm a-ok with that because I love my Asylum movies more zany than I do straight forward. Anyway, she returns to destroy the world and it's up to the modern day descendants of Arthur and the Round Table Knights to stand up to her and put a stop to her evil plans.

My main big issue with Asylum's previous release, Sinbad and the War of the Furies, was that nothing at all happens for the majority of the movie except characters standing around and chatting, and most scenes in the middle of the movie really felt like filler scenes to pad out the runtime and nothing more. Because of that, I have to be honest, I was a little weary of having a repeat of that here with this movie, since both movies kind of tackle the same idea of modernizing a classic legend and are coming out only a few months apart, however ultimately I shouldn't have wasted time worrying. Asyum-Regular Director Jared Cohn crafted a fun, engaging, fast-paced action flick with this one. It's filled with tons of action, with well-choreographed fight scenes. Said fight scenes can be a bit sluggish at times, sure, but always fun just the same. In addition, almost every character has their own little subplot or backstory that makes you invested in them and interested in how things turn out, and unlike with the recent Sinbad movie, every scene here, whether it's a fight scene or just a character-driven scene, helps move the plot forward, and because of that this movie never once felt boring or tedious.


Granted, a lot of the exposition dialog is quite awkwardly clumsy, and you could tell the actors had problems getting through it in some scenes, but overall the acting was pretty decent as far as Asylum standards go, with Sara Malakul Lane totally stealing the show in her perfectly-villainous role of Morgana. If Asylum could somehow do a spin-off movie where her character teams up with Casper Van Dien's Rumpelstiltskin from Avengers Grimm, that would be one hell of a fun scenery-chewing competition that I think would be a total blast to watch unfold for an hour and a half!

I also really enjoyed that this movie took place in, and was also seemingly filmed in, the beautiful Asian city of Bangkok. Most Asylum movies take place in Los Angeles, or at the very least are filmed there, so I very much appreciate the change in scenery with this. Not just from a story perspective, but also a visual one. You can only see the exact same back alleys, busy intersections, dirt roads, and giant desert rocks of Los Angeles so many times before you start getting bored with it. I understand why Asylum does that, of course - it all comes down to budget and what's cheapest for them to do, which is why I never count it against them when they do. However, when they put out a movie like this one that unexpectedly takes place and is filmed elsewhere, it makes me appreciate that fact all the more.

Now, what I sadly don't appreciate is the scenes where the audio quality seemed to come and go. It;s not very often at all, but once in awhile there will be a scene where the background music and sound effects are significantly louder than the spoken dialogue, making it impossible to pick out what characters are saying in those moments. I'm willing to look past a lot of faults and production issues in these types of films, but at this stage in Asylum's longevity there's no excuse for that. Asylum has been operating since the early 2000s and this is an issue that keeps popping up here and there ever since those days. It's been close to 17 years and they still keep having that easily-fixed issue? No excuse for that, whatsoever, and the more I see it happen this day in age, the more it gets on my nerves.


I've been pretty harsh on Asylum this past year, I hate that they release far less movies than they used to, and on top of that I feel the few movies that they have been releasing have been subpar, even for them. On top of that, their social media accounts seem interested only in advertising Z Nation and Sharknado and nothing else, and their website hadn't been updated in over a year. It really felt like a case of 'Clearly they don't care so why should I?' and I started loosing my love for all things Asylum, which was something I never thought would happen in a million years.

However, lately they've been interacting with fans on a more regular basis on social media, advertising a wider range of their movies, and even updated their website with a brand new layout and including a section dedicated to In-Production and Upcoming movies, making it far easier to see what they have coming down the pipe. Add to that the fact that Jared Cohn's King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, a few minor issues aside, is the first Asylum movie in close to a year that I've really genuinely loved. Put that all together and I'm starting to feel the Asylum love returning. As long as they can continue to stay on this current path they've gotten on, I think I'll get back there rather quickly.

8/10 rooms in the Psych Ward


Comments

  1. Excellent review! I am very excited to see this! Did you see "Zoombies"? That was pretty freaking awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I have a review for that one a way back. One of the only Asylum movies from last year I loved. Possibly my second favorite of theirs of all time.

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