Dir. Joe Cornish
Reviewed by Matt (@Cleric20) Adcock
“There's something written on the guard. Put it into Google Translate - It means ‘Sword of Arthur’. What if it's the Sword in the Stone?”
Old school magic meets the modern world in a woke new epic adventure from the director of the excellent ‘Attack The Block’. The Kid Who Would Be King brings a heart-warming take on the Arthur mythos where young Alexander (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) thinks he's just another nobody, until he stumbles upon the mythical sword in the stone, Excalibur.
What follows is an all-age friendly quest as Alex enlists both his only friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) and the mean school bully Lance (Tom Taylor), and his loyal minion, Kaye (Rhianna Dorris) to try and defeat an ancient wicked enchantress Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson). You see Arthur’s evil half-sister lusts for Excalibur and plans to enslave mankind under the cover of an upcoming solar eclipse.
The young cast are great and include a brilliantly awkward Merlin (Angus Imrie) but he’s also Sir Patrick Stewart in his ‘old form’. I took some friends with me to get their opinion on this family-friendly adventure they were quite impressed. Ruby age 10 said: “what I loved was the comedy which was really funny e.g. the lines ‘where did you learn to drive?’… ‘Mario Kart’ – which I won’t forget.” Amelie aged 12 added, “this is an exciting film that children and adults will enjoy with both action and humour!”
There are some mildly scary scenes but no gore thanks to the baddie demonic minions combusting in satisfying mini firework explosions when hit. What is really nicely captured though are the adolescent struggles with insecurity and social standing that pepper school life.
There are fun sword battles although the stand-out scene is probably a chase through the city streets which sees gives Lady Kaye chance to show off her Mario Kart skills. The climax sees a full-scale assault by Morgana’s forces storm Alex’s school – and the pupils have to ‘knight up’ and fight to protect each other in a great battle.
There are strong positive messages running through the film about uniting both friends and enemies into a band of knights and following a code. Director Cornish also manages to slip in some mild Brexit comment about how ‘lost and leaderless’ Britain has become.
With all our futures at stake, joining Alex on his quest is a great cinematic family treat.
Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3 - Quality fun adventuring for the young and young-at-heart!)
Awesomeness ööö – Battles and Teenage Angst a go go
Laughs ööö – Some good nicely observed humour
Horror öö – Mild peril
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - True hearts can win the day