First Knight

Oh dear, one of my colleagues remarked, and I know just how he felt. In this thoroughly unnecessary and profoundly unconvincing contribution to the King Arthur legend, written by William Nicholson and directed by Jerry Zucker (Ghost), Richard Gere is a semibearable Lancelot only when the character’s a footloose freelancer; the moment he has to pledge fealty to Camelot and the honor of Guinevere (Julia Ormond), the actor’s unquenchable narcissism and glibness make him seem the worst kind of hypocrite, which clearly wasn’t the script’s intention. Sean Connery fares better as King Arthur, but then he’s always been swell at playing amiable statues; by the time this movie’s over you may feel hard as rock yourself, and not so amiable about it. With Ben Cross, Liam Cunningham, and Christopher Villiers. (JR)

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