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‘The Kid Who Would Be King’ review: Fun, friendly retelling of old tale

The Kid Who Would Be King adapts the old tale and excels by the modern cinematic standards of creative story and charm.

The Kid Who Would Be King tells an old tale that meets the modern world. Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) thinks he’s just another nobody until he stumbles upon the mythical Sword in the Stone, Excalibur. He unites his friends and enemies—Bedders (Dean Chaumoo), Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Doris)—into a band of knights and, together with the legendary wizard Merlin/Mertin (Patrick Stewart and Angus Imrie), they take on the wicked enchantress Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson). With the future at stake, Alex must become the great leader he never dreamed he could be.

The legend of King Arthur is one that has been told plenty of times in films, so nobody needs an introduction to the renowned legend of the Sword and the Stone, of Arthur and his roundtable knights.  The Kid Who Would Be King under the direction of Joe Cornish is never far from the original, but it gives us a new reinterpretation of the legend itself. The film revolves around a British school kid, Alex, who rises to greatness and has life lessons that will surely excite the young ones. While adults may find the film repetitive, it put enough clever and sarcastic wit to make it a worthwhile picture for them too.

True to be told, The Kid Who Would Be King is one of the better adaptations of the Arthurian legend. It’s a feel-good family and friendly film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, as many Arthurian adaptations tend to do. It was the best way so that the young generation would get the story more than the adaptions whose more into actions.

The film casts an outstanding bunch of modern British school kids its heroes that fully sets it apart from other recent adaptations of King Arthur. Louis Ashbourne Serkis puts in a performance that would make his father proud, as he plays a good-hearted Alex handling both the intimate emotional scenes as well as the more fantastic elements like a veteran. Dean Chaumoo plays one of the sweetest and perfect friends on film ever to play aside to Louis’ more serious character. Angus Imrie who played Mertin/Merlin on the other hand, steals the show with its exaggerated spell casting arm movements and made a lot of fun in the film so much so that he even overshadows his older self, played by Patrick Stewart

Director Joe Cornish creates a contemporary twist on the story of the old tale. Unlike many adaptations that tend to play up the more fantastical elements of the legends, Cornish does well to keep the story somewhat grounded. He keeps the action light enough for a family audience in a magical adventure providing just enough CGI, chills, laughs and thrills to keep all ages entertained. The climax was one of the best thing for it delivers a delightful school-based battle, uniting the kids on a unique way to post a battle in an old tale set in modern world. The Kid Who Would Be King was simple yet entertaining and got a whole lot of heart with moments of humour that amazes and overwhelms dull moments.

The Kid Who Would Be King is funny and likeable enough with full of inspiration for younger generation. A must watch for the whole family this season.


4 out of 5 stars

The Kid Who Would Be King is written and directed by Joe Cornish and stars Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Angus Imrie, Rebecca Ferguson and Patrick Stewart. Runtime: 120 minutes
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