Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot Review

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Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot – A Fresh Interpretation of the Classic Tale


In Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot, we are presented with a new perspective on the legendary story of King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table. This film takes us on a journey through the epic deeds of King Arthur (played by Richard Short) as he embarks on a long and bloody war to defend Camelot. However, while Arthur is away, Camelot falls into the clutches of Modred (portrayed by Joel Phillimore), Arthur’s illegitimate son, who seizes the opportunity to seduce the beloved Queen Guinevere (Stella Stocker) with the help of the Sorceress Vortigone (Jennifer Matter). To restore order and defeat Modred, Arthur must rally his loyal knights and seek the assistance of the powerful Merlin (played by Richard Brake).

An Action-Packed Journey

Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot offers an enjoyable and action-packed cinematic experience. The battle scenes are reasonably well-choreographed and the setting adds to the overall fascination of the film. The narrative is enhanced by the inclusion of legendary epics, which further immerse viewers into the world of King Arthur and his knights. However, the film’s visual effects are somewhat hindered by the lack of adequate CGI equipment. This limitation becomes particularly evident in scenes involving magic and supernatural elements, as they appear less effective and at times outdated. Despite these visual shortcomings, the film showcases some interesting stylistic choices that would benefit from a more in-depth exploration and refined writing.

A Departure from Traditional Adaptations

Renewed Interest in Arthurian History

One notable aspect that deviates from the classic origins of the tale is the filmmakers’ desire to renew interest in the connection between the myth of King Arthur and British history. Unlike modern pop culture, which often emphasizes the fantastical and magical elements of Arthurian legends, Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot dedicates ample attention to themes such as war and the battle against the Roman Empire and the invading Saxons in Britain. This unique choice presents an interesting perspective, although the narrative at times feels fragmented. The film attempts to incorporate numerous elements, including war, family, magic, and Arthur’s role as an “absent” king. As a result, the final product becomes an amalgamation of intriguing ideas that lacks a distinct focus on any one theme.

A Familiar Tale Assumed Known

Notably, Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot assumes a level of familiarity with the Camelot mythos among its audience members. The film does not explain the origins of Camelot or explore the genesis of Arthur and Merlin’s friendship. This assumption highlights how deeply ingrained this particular myth is in our collective consciousness. While Merlin’s character receives limited screen time, the prominence of King Arthur underscores his role as the sole protagonist of the film.

Exploring Arthur’s Torment and Growth

A Tormented King

Richard Short delivers a compelling portrayal of King Arthur in Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot. Arthur is depicted as a tormented individual, haunted by nightmares and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). His experiences in war have become such a profound part of his identity that his memories of the beginning of it all have grown increasingly blurred. The film delves into his internal struggle, as he grapples with a desire to return home to Camelot while questioning if leaving the battlefield is truly what he desires. Short’s powerful performance captures the complexities of Arthur’s character, and it is evident that there was a genuine effort to study and understand the persona of this legendary figure.

An Imperfect, Yet Thought-Provoking Film

Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot can be described as a partially successful entertainment product that is not without its flaws. Technical aspects and narrative structure undermine the film to some extent. The editing at times feels disjointed, disrupting the overall flow of the viewing experience. However, amidst these shortcomings, the film presents intriguing themes that deviate from the origins of the myth. It offers viewers an opportunity for reflection and a fresh perspective on the Arthurian legend.


In conclusion, Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot provides a fresh interpretation of the timeless tale of King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table. While the film may have its imperfections, it offers an enjoyable and action-packed experience for audiences. From well-choreographed battle scenes to a unique exploration of the ties between Arthurian legend and British history, the film aims to captivate viewers. Richard Short’s portrayal of a tormented King Arthur adds depth to the narrative. Although the film could have delved further into certain stylistic choices and addressed some narrative fragments, it remains a thought-provoking piece that sets itself apart from traditional Arthurian adaptations.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot a historically accurate film?

No, Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot is not a historically accurate film. While it incorporates elements of British history, it primarily draws upon the myths and legends surrounding King Arthur.

2. How does the film handle the relationship between Arthur and Merlin?

The film focuses predominantly on King Arthur’s character, with Merlin playing a supporting role. The bond between Arthur and Merlin is not explored in great depth, leaving much of their relationship open to interpretation.

3. Are the battle scenes well-executed?

Yes, the battle scenes in Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot are reasonably well-choreographed and contribute to the overall excitement of the film. However, the limited CGI resources may affect the visual impact of certain scenes involving magic and supernatural elements.

4. Does the film explore the themes of war and family?

Yes, Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot dedicates ample attention to themes such as war and family. The narrative incorporates the challenges that arise from the battle against the Roman Empire and the invading Saxons, as well as the familial dynamics within Camelot.

5. Can the film be enjoyed by those unfamiliar with the Arthurian legend?

While some prior knowledge of the Arthurian legend may enhance the viewing experience, Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot can still be enjoyed by audiences unfamiliar with the tale. The film assumes a level of general familiarity but provides enough context to engage and captivate viewers.