There’s a lot to criticize about this film, mostly from an objective angle; costumes, dialogue, underdeveloped characters — even gaping plot holes. But if you strip away the layers of expectation, there is some pretty entertaining action going on in “King Arthur.” Of course, some action is never quite enough to carry a feature-length motion picture.

The legend of King Arthur and his mighty sword, Excalibur, is a cornerstone of medieval literature, his origins dating back to Geoffrey of Monmouth in the 12th century. The lore has evolved over the centuries, but the story remains uncorrupted. Sorcerers and mages, knights and ladies, kings and villains. It’s the epitome of feudalism fused with English swordplay and archers, castles and peasants, heroes and mystical creatures.

You know the tale, but you’ve never seen it portrayed like this.

The first dozen or so minutes bring you into a poor man’s Peter Jackson film, and to be honest, I was a little excited. But then, Guy Ritchie’s signature stylized camerawork emerges and kills the fantasy tone by bringing us back to the flashy close-up slow motion or fast-forwarded frames that might work on a low-budget London-based independent film, but don’t do the Knights of the Round Table much justice. Glitzy special effects, at times, look cheaply done, and overall the vibe never really grabs hold of the audience. There are too many different genres or styles to enjoy any one of them, and it’s actually quite a shame.

Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy”) plays the titular role in his perfectly coifed beard and ruggedly handsome haircut. He sticks out like a sore thumb among his co-stars. He exudes confidence, but not in a good way. He’s a bit too cool to be the reluctant hero, and I do believe he was miscast, and it will have a great detriment to the success of the film. As far as Brits go, I would have preferred a Henry Cavill, Nicholas Hoult, Douglas Booth, Sam Clafin, or Taron Egerton for the role as they are all handsome, but have darker features that seem a bit more, I don’t know, Medieval England.

Jude Law plays sleazy better than just about anyone, and his character, King Uther Pendragon’s little brother, Vortigern, is as sleazy as they get. Power hungry and slightly wizardly, he impressed me with his snide sneer and eloquent and sinister dialogue delivery.

Guy Ritchie and fellow screenwriter Joby Harold (“Edge of Tomorrow”) create a commendable take on the legend, but it’s basic and formulaic at best. There are some truly valiant attempts at paying homage to various elements of the original story, but what is intended as humor comes off as sloppy and a crutch for a lack of creativity.

I like sword fights as much as the next guy, but I was disappointed, from a critical aspect. With zero expectations and no filter for scrutiny, this might well be an entertaining film, but it’s difficult to separate critic and audience, so alas, I have to share my disapproval. The costumes, dialogue, camerawork and characters were all just a bit too scattershot to manage. Guy Ritchie should absolutely stick to what he’s good at, which is modern London-based crime capers. “Snatch,” “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” and “RocknRolla” are where he and his uniquely talented style excel.

There is a reason the release date was pushed back nearly a year, and it isn’t to capitalize on a prime box office weekend. Squeezed between “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” and “Alien: Covenant,” it will be an afterthought in a week. With an estimated $175 million budget, it will be lucky to pull in half of that domestically. Internationally, I could see it crawling its way into the black, but at this point, Warner Bros. should put this one in the rear-view mirror and look forward to “Wonder Woman,” “Dunkirk,” “Ninjago” and “Blade Runner: 2049.” You should too.