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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword isn’t exactly Oscarbait.

Director Guy Ritchie is known for two things: His visual flourishes and his narrative indifference. From his relatively gritty early crime films to the silly Sherlock Holmes franchise (with Robert Downey Jr.), his flicks have always been long on style, short on sense. So I wasn’t shocked that his version of ancient Britain includes 300-foot elephants.

King Arthur feels very, very Ritchie, offering plenty of striking visuals with some rather loose, unhinged storytelling. Most critics have dismissed it pretty much out of hand. I get that.

But while King Arthur obviously revels more in its massive elephants and horrific tentacle monsters than, y’know, plot, there’s some interesting stuff at work underneath it all—religious stuff. And while the confluence of all that spirituality also falls apart at times, it still leads to some fairly interesting places. (Caution: Spoilers Ahead)

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