Film Review: A Boy’s Adventure in ‘The Kid Who Would Be King’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – The marketing of this film keeps mentioning the 1980s cult film ‘The Goonies,’ but this British based “school mates” adventure is rooted more in King Arthur and “The Sword in the Stone.” A boy’s grand adventure plays out with themes of what is at stake in a delightful “The Kid Who Would Be King.” Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

The film is well written, well cast and executed with heart and excitement. It’s a pity that the inevitable overindulgence in computer generated images had to be present, but for once it was balanced with some decent storytelling and “analog” wizardry. It’s like “The Goonies” only in the sense that it’s a kid’s quest, with nary an adult involved. But the mythology associated with the quest is pure British, expanding upon the King Arthur legend and lessening the Disney effect by creating its own tale of kings and knights. The “kid” who would be king is portrayed as a charming outsider, who has had his courage all along, to emergge when his destiny came knocking. This is also one of those rare kid oriented films where the adults will be equally engaged.

Alex (Louis Ashborne Serkis, son of Andy) is a typical English schoolboy, who is being raised by a single Mum (Denise Gough), and is on the low end of the playground hierarchy. He can’t stand bullying, though, and defends his best friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) against the hassling from Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Dorris). His life changes when he comes upon a sword stuck in a stone at a London construction site, and he is able to extract it.

Yes, he is a true heir to King Arthur, and that means that the wizard Merlin (Angus Imrie young, Patrick Stewart old) must come back to help the kid king fight off the sorceress Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) who desires the sword as Arthur’s half sister. Their battle is a battle for the whole of Britain, and the young king recruits both his fried Bedders and his “enemies” (Lance and Kaye) to sit at the “round table” of alliance, to defeat their common foe.

“The Kid Who Would Be King” opens everywhere on January 25th. Featuring Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Dean Chaumoo, Angis Imrie, Denise Gough, Rebecca Ferguson and Patrick Stewart. Written and directed by Joe Cornish. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Kid Who Would Be King”

Louis Ashborne Serkis is the Title Character Alex in ‘The Kid Who Would Be King
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Kid Who Would Be King”

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