Who doesn't love a good King Arthur movie? The newest interpretation one of the most beloved fictional characters and his rise to the throne of Camelot is a very different interpretation. If one were to take the BBC show Merlin and combine it with A Knight's Tale, then you get a modern, upbeat version of an age old legend. Like with Robin Hood, King Arthur can never really fade away into any sense of obscurity. King Arthur was to Old England what Captain America or Superman is to modern day America. As long as you get Arthur right then the rest of the story can very easily fall into place.
When the small island of Camelot is under attack by the maniacal sorcerer, Mordred, brave and noble King Uther Pendragon goes to war. Aided by his brother, Prince Vortigern and his first knight, Sir Bedivere, Uther manages to defeat Mordred with the powerful sword Excalibur, however, the true evil is closer than he thinks. Uther is betrayed by his own brother and killed. However, Uther's son, Prince Arthut manages to escape while Excalibur is buried deep in Avalon lake, unable to be found by anyone.
Arthur finds safety in the wild city of Londinium. Rescued by prostitutes and raised in a brothel, Arthur grows up learning the value of hard work, dealing with bullies, making and saving money, and how to fight and protect others. Some twenty odd years go by and Arthur and his rag tag group of friends run the Londinium streets, caring for the poor and fighting any outsider who dare come into their city. Arthur's generous nature is immediately seen when he defends the prostitute who cared for him after she is badly beaten by a viking trader. While Arthur may run the streets and protect the destitue, he is still subject to the tyranny of the king and those who serve him.
Word on the street starts to spread of 'the future king' after Excalibur is found buried deep within a stone. King Vortigen has run Camelot to the ground with his endless wars and expensive buildings. The people hate and fear him, but no one has the courage to stand up to him. While Vortigen may have succeeded in killing his brother, his nephew still poses a threat to the crown. Now that Excalibur is found, only Uther's true heir can wield it.
Every young man in his twenties is taken from their homes and sent to Camelot to pull the sword from the stone. After Arthur successfully releases the sword, his once carefree life in Londinium ends and now he becomes the reality of the myth of 'the future king.' His life is now a journey from the street smarts alley rat to the Once and Future King of Camelot. Aided by his friends including the wise and powerful Mage, Arthur fights to take back his birthright and give his kingdom back to its people.
As I said in the opening, if you get Arthur right than the rest of the story falls into place. Well, they got Arthur right. Played by the incredibly handsome and talented English actor, Charlie Hunnam, this Arthur was as Arthur should be. Noble, honorable, and courageous, but also deeply flawed with doubt and frightened of this unexpected legacy. I fell in love with him immediately. His care for the women that raised him and he how he loved and protected them was a beautiful way to interpret a king who understood the people regardless of their station.
He was also delightfully humorous and Arthur and his friends brought a great deal of comic relief to the story. One thing that the movie didn't bother with was a love story (thank goodness!). There was no romance or love interest at all. The only woman that Arthur got close to was the Mage, a rather dour faced character that never smiled or showed emotion, but she certainly knew how to hold her own. While their is a great deal of fighting, I didn't really see an general blood or violence (with the exception of Uther's brutal death/suicide).
Simply a fun movie with a little modern edge in areas as well as an exceptionally beautiful soundtrack. King Arthur: Legend of The Sword told the basic well known story of Arthur's road to the throne to Camelot while taking artistic liberties in the legend that makes it new and different.