David Beckham has received some scathing reviews in the British press for his cameo in the film "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword", but director Guy Ritchie has given the former soccer star the thumbs up for his performance.
"I love him and I think he's great on screen. I find him very talented," Ritchie told Reuters at the film's European premiere, when asked if Beckham had the potential to be as good at acting as at soccer.
Ritchie's take on the medieval legend follows King Arthur, played by Charlie Hunnam, who is robbed of his birthright and has a tough upbringing. But once he pulls the Excalibur sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy.
Beckham, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder known for his bending kicks, plays the soldier Trigger in the sword-pulling scene.Beckham "shows just about enough dramatic range to have played the stone the sword got stuck in," The Telegraph said in its review, adding that he had "sabotaged" the scene.
"It's a misguided, fist-biter of a performance," Empire said.
Beckham, who also had a cameo in Ritchie's previous movie, "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.", said it was "nice to be involved" in the film.
"I think people are going to love it. You know obviously with Guy's movies you know what you're going to get but there's a few surprises, a bit of comedy along the way," said Beckham, who attended the premiere with his son Brooklyn.
Hunnam, of "Sons of Anarchy" fame, said he had to convince Ritchie to let him audition for the role.
"I flew myself to England and I basically showed up at his front door and said 'listen, we're going to talk about this because I think you might be making a bit of an error here.'"
"King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" also stars actors Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou and model Poppy Delevingne.
The film, distributed by Warner Bros., began its global rollout in some countries on Wednesday and hits North American cinemas on Friday.