The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)
In this modern twist on the King Arthur legend, a young boy called Alex (Louis George Serkis – yes, he’s Andy Serkis’ son) must turn bullies into friends, learn the truth about his father, and vanquish the evil Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson).
This was a surprise, and as it turns out, just what I was in the mood for. I had my fingers crossed that The Kid Who Would Be King would be a thrilling adventure story and that’s exactly what I got. This is an unapologetically charming film that grounds its fantastical story in an authentic feeling working class UK setting.
This film also has layers to explore. Beyond the visual effects (which are perfectly serviceable by the way) this story takes a swipe at the forces that divide us (Brexit, Trump). And in a similar way to The Last Jedi, The Kid Who Would Be King pushes forward the idea that the future belongs to the young, and not necessarily the ones born into a dynastic family tree. When evil forces rise, and our leaders fail us, everyone has the ability and responsibility to fight back.
Positive messaging abounds in this film, but it manages to walk that tightrope between cheesy histrionics, comedy, and heart-warming drama, perfectly. Director Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) “gets” this material and clearly knows what he’s doing. The Kid Who Would Be King is a perfect film for middle-grade kids on up, and a great shared experience the entire family can enjoy. Go see it!
Starring: Louis George Serkis, Denise Gough, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Angus Imrie, Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Ferguson
Directed by: Joe Cornish
Screenplay by: Joe Cornish
Rating: PG Running Time: 2 hrs