This week at the movies, we have some pre-Round Table action (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, starring Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law) and some wacky mother-daughter shenanigans (Snatched, starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn). What do the critics have to say?
There’s a lot to be said for putting a revisionist spin on a well-known tale. Do it properly, and you can lure new fans into an established mythology while unearthing hitherto hidden depths of stories that had long since seemed to reveal themselves completely. So while the saga of King Arthur didn’t exactly seem to be crying out for the modern action thriller treatment, there was reason for filmgoers to at least be cautiously optimistic about this weekend’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
— it’s one of the most durable (and widely disseminated) legends in the Western lexicon, and Sherlock Holmes
director Guy Ritchie
has proven himself a capable hand with this sort of thing in the past. Unfortunately, it sounds like it’s time to lower yon expectations, friends: critics say that in attempting to meld swords ‘n’ sorcery with gritty, rapid-edit action, Ritchie’s left audiences with a noisy, muddled mess. As Arthur, Charlie Hunnam does more or less what the movie calls for, and there’s the germ of an intriguing idea in making the future king a charming ruffian, but it never amounts to much in the way of compelling cinema. While Legend of the Sword
sounds like it might do in a pinch as a rental on a rainy afternoon, and Hunnam fans will certainly end up checking it out, it doesn’t seem like it’ll be joining the ranks of box office royalty.
Amy Schumer’s ribald yet refreshingly honest brand of humor has often made her a critics’ darling over the last few years — as well as the sort of rising star with enough Hollywood mojo to cajole a beloved yet long-absent entertainer (like, say, Goldie Hawn) out of retirement and back onto the big screen for a good old-fashioned buddy picture. The duo seemed like a lock for a laugh riot in Snatched
, which finds them playing mother and daughter on an exotic vacation that starts with an embarrassing heartbreak and only goes downhill from there. With all that talent on the screen — and 50/50
director Jonathan Levine
working from a script by Katie Dippold
) — the end result should be a critical smash, right? Well… maybe not. Reviews describe a movie that has its moments, as well as a couple of likable leads, but is never consistently funny enough to justify the attention; more problematically, Schumer’s still basically riffing on the same shtick that made her famous, and it’s lost some of its luster. Here’s hoping these two reconnect with a better script at some point; in the meantime, you can content yourself with any of Goldie Hawn’s best movies
and the first few seasons of Inside Amy Schumer
What’s New on TV
Adult in the best way, I Love Dick expands the scope of its source material while offering smart, provocative, and funny observations on sexuality and gender roles.
Sense8 maintains its stunning visuals, Wachowski wackiness, and great heart — though its individual characters deserve more development.
Also Opening This Week In Limited Release
- Angkor Awakens: A Portrait of Cambodia (2016) , a documentary look at modern history in the titular region, is at 100 percent.
- Hounds of Love (2016) , about a woman fighting for her life after being abducted by a serial killer couple, is at 97 percent.
- Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe (2016) , a biopic drama that finds the titular writer struggling to make sense of the world after World War II, is at 92 percent.
- Get Me Roger Stone (2017) , a documentary about the right-wing political operative, is at 89 percent.
- Violet (2014) , about the aftermath of a violent assault passively witnessed by the victim’s supposed friend, is at 89 percent.
- Tracktown (2016) , about an athlete who stumbles across a love connection after being sidelined by injury, is at 83 percent.
- The Wedding Plan (2016) , in which a woman befuddles her friends and loved ones by refusing to cancel her wedding plans even after the groom backs out, is at 80 percent.
- Folk Hero & Funny Guy (2016) , about the complications that ensue after a struggling comedian joins his old musician buddy on tour, is at 79 percent.
- Manifesto (2015) , a collection of 13 vignettes starring Cate Blanchett, is at 70 percent.
- The Wall (2017) , starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena as soldiers pinned under fire from a sniper, is at 63 percent.
- Urban Hymn (2015) , the coming-of-age story of a girl who learns to cope with her problems by singing — only to face further complications — is at 62 percent.
- Lowriders (2016) , about a young L.A. street artist tangled up in multi-generational familiy drama, is at 60 percent.
- Paris Can Wait (2016) , starring Diane Lane as a woman on a culinary tour of Provence with a business associate of her absentee husband, is at 58 percent.
- Whisky Galore! (2016) , a remake of the period comedy about a cargo ship that loses its spirited payload after running aground, is at 58 percent.
- The Drowning (2016) , about a psychologist forced to confront his guilt and uncertainty over a case from his past, is at 50 percent.
- Absolutely Anything (2015) , a comedy featuring involvement from the members of Monty Python and starring Simon Pegg, is at 16 percent.