Saturday, 8 December 2012

Excalibur - dvd review

Badly paced, bombastic, humourless, a rushed ending, acting that goes from completely over the top to simply terrible: Excalibur is this and more. And yet, it's bizarrely enjoyable.

We all know the story of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin, Lancelot and Guinevere. It's the stuff of British legend. John Boorman's film attempts to tell much of this story in just over two hours and in some respects, it succeeds. In others - such as acting and pace - it fails hugely. Nearly all of the cast camp it up as if they're in a Christmas panto, scenes jump forward in time with little explanation of where we are in the narrative (although you can get a rough idea by the length of all the beards) and Lancelot is far too much of a pretty boy for me to take seriously. But on the other hand, the basic story is a classic, the scenery and settings are gorgeous, and the whole mood of the film is of a cast and crew attempting their best to do a difficult job.

Despite its huge flaws, Excalibur is worth watching if you can cope with awful acting and a poor pace. And Liam Neeson's glued on beard.


  1. I love that movie. It has atmosphere, the power of mythic and a stirring musical score that will make your spine tingle. You can also see the whole script online. Sad to think that Nic, who played Merlin, passed away recently.

  2. It's a strange one. There are plenty of flaws but it's still a lot of fun to watch.