Director – David Lowery (A Ghost Story, Pete’s Dragon)
Starring – Dev Patel (Chappie, The Last Airbender), Alicia Vikander (Seventh Son, Tomb Raider), and Joel Edgerton (It Comes at Night, The Thing)
Release Date – 2021
Rating – 3/5
A24 has released some of the most popular horror releases of recent years. Films like Hereditary, The Witch, The Lighthouse, and Midsommar dominated horror groups and other genre favorited social media pages. I didn’t care for Hereditary but the other films I mentioned, among several more, were fantastic films that will stand the test of time.
When I received still from A24’s fantasy adventure film The Green Knight I was hooked. I followed this project closely and when news of the physical release hit my email I was quick to request a review copy. A few days ago I received UHD release of the film and quickly set it by the television to watch. I want to thank A24 for hooking me up with this review copy.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows Gawain (Patel) who delivers a decapitating blow to the revered Green Knight. After delivering the critical blow to the knight he is allowed to wield the Green Knight’s axe for one year but the following Christmas he must visit the Green Knight’s castle to receive the same blow back. After a year passes he finds himself making the journey to the castle where he faces thieves, giants, ghosts, and seductive women before coming face to face with his destiny. **Spoiler Alert**
I heard nothing but good things about The Green Knight and I was genuinely excited to check it out but it was quickly evident that I wouldn’t like this film as much as others. I did like it and found it enjoyable but it wasn’t a movie that I fell madly in love with like others. My biggest complaint was the film’s running time but that is something I will discuss later in my review.
The acting in this one is absolutely phenomenal. Dev Patel is brilliant as Sir Gawain who delivers a character with varying levels of personality. In some aspects he can be seen as brave and valiant before showing he is gullible and weak, and eventually falling on cowardly. He brings all these aspects to life with his performance and carries the film through several dauntless scenes with just his character. The supporting cast is just as brilliant but their performances was not as bold and brilliant as Patel.
The story for this one is a unique and a different spin on an Arthurian tale. Most of us grew up with the various animated films and series about King Arthur and his knights so many of us are familiar with Sir Gawain but seeing these characters in this gritty and grounded film was very enjoyable. We get a lot of character and story development with a tale that is based in morality. However, the movie is over two hours long which it does not need to be. There is so many extended and drawn out scenes that could be cut out which would not only help the run time but make the pacing of the film much more enjoyable.
Finally, the film is not a bloody and gory knight adventure. There is some great props, wardrobe, and a cool looking costume for the Green Knight. I wish it was a little more darker and bloodier but it wasn’t. Overall, The Green Knight is a wonderful modern fantasy adventure film set against the backdrop of Arthur and his knight Sir Gawain. It’s fun but the long and convoluted scenes does tries the viewer’s patience. Check it out.