There is a lot of good in “The Green Knight,” writer/director David Lowry’s adaptation of the epic poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.”

It is a compelling spin on the King Arthur legend, with Dev Patel delivering a dynamic performance. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to overcome some questionable direction from Lowry, who seems so content with creating a moody fantasy adventure much in the same vein as his previous film “A Ghost Story.” The result is a movie that misses the mark, unable to garner any momentum because Lowry can’t get out of his own way.

Patel stars as Gawain, Arthur’s nephew who approaches life with a haphazard act-now, think later attitude. When a mysterious Green Knight (Ralph Ineson) arrives at the kingdom wanting to test anyone in King Arthur’s court, Gawain steps up – not realizing right away that the test is about to send him on an epic quest in which he must fight for his survival.

Along his journey Gawain comes in contact with many obstacles – ranging from petty thieves to mysterious entities and a free-spirited couple.

These roles are played by some recognizable and talented faces – including Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton and Barry Keoghan, just a few quality performances in a cast headlined by an outstanding turn from Patel. He effectively captures the essence of Gawain – a young, brash hero who is careless to the point of putting himself and everyone around him in danger.

The cast is so good it becomes extremely frustrating to watch Lowry pull out way too many bells and whistles visually. It’s as if Lowry the director doesn’t trust his cast so he tries to distract the audience by over-emphasizing the camera work – with everything from title cards that took me out of the film to some really long shots that could have easily been trimmed to reduce the film’s rather bloated 132-minute run time.

For most of the film Lowry had me on the fence, eager to find a reason to ultimately recommend “The Green Knight.” It all comes crashing down with a final act that left me cold – an extended sequence that probably sounded better on paper than the actual finished product.

This is a film that had so much potential, and so much that works. It’s a shame Lowry couldn’t have trusted what he had, because his final cut winds up undermining “The Green Knight” in frustrating fashion.

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