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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword


Charlie Hunnman stars in a scene from the movie "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.(CNS photo/Warner Bros.)

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NEW YORK (CNS) -- Early on in "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" (Warner Bros.), the audience is treated to the sight of magically generated giant elephants swinging boulder-size wrecking balls at the ramparts of Camelot. It's an apt visual considering how ponderous this action fantasy turns out to be.

Rearranging some of the traditional elements of the Arthur legend -- which may or may not be rooted in actual history -- director and co-writer Guy Ritchie comes up with a sort of "Prince and the Pauper" version of events.

Thus, not long after those lumbering pachyderms depart, toddler Arthur's father, Uther (Eric Bana), dies as a result of his evil brother Vortigern's (Jude Law) violent -- and ultimately successful -- bid to usurp the throne. Arthur evades a similar fate by being set adrift, Moses-like, in a boat which eventually finds its way to a bustling version of medieval London still called by its Roman name, Londinium.

There Arthur, dispossessed of his rights and with no recollection of his real identity, is raised as a brawling street urchin by the inhabitants of a brothel.

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