NEW YORK - Costing $175 million to make and tens of millions more to market, "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" movie is shaping-up as a king-size flop. But the main question is whether or not the film is worth the cost of a movie ticket.
The short answer is: "No."
The appearance of giant elephants in the battle sequence that opens the movie is a sure indication that this is not a traditional re-telling of the legend.
We see the future King Arthur as a boy who witnesses tragedy and grows up swiftly.
As played by Charlie Hunnam, "Arthur" is a man who lives humbly, but proudly, working in a brothel until the magic moment when he becomes the only man in England capable of drawing a sword from a stone, marking him as the future king with mystical powers he must now learn to control.
Soccer great David Beckham lends his charisma to the film in a "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" role before "Arthur" must flee; he is a threat to the current monarch, played by an over-the-top Jude Law.
Arthur runs with a band of rebels, but there's no "Merlin" as a mentor. Actually, the wizard is barely mentioned and Arthur's teacher is now played by Djimon Hounsou.
Hunnam has what it takes to become a major movie star and I think this movie proves it, but almost no one else agrees with me.
"King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" was shot two years ago and the finished film sat on the shelf for months. Its release was postponed a couple of times.
Slamming the picture has become a habit with the nation's critics who are almost united in urging you to stay away.