THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING – A Review by Gadi Elkon

Old school magic meets the modern world in the epic adventure THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING. Alex (Ashbourne Serkis) thinks he’s just another nobody, until he stumbles upon the mythical Sword in the Stone, Excalibur.

Here is my review of the film.

“Now, he must unite his friends and enemies into a band of knights and, together with the legendary wizard Merlin (Sir Patrick Stewart), 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.”  From THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING website

Writer Joe Cornish returns to the director’s chair after a jump into the MARVEL Universe, with ANT-MAN, and the Steven Spielberg world, with THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN.  Cornish seemed to joyfully dive back into the gritty world of London as his version of Arthur and the Roundtable is a slightly older teen version.  Cornish once again has a group of kids, granted a bit younger than his ATTACK THE BLOCK group, battling figures not from the streets of London.  Replace the alien gorilla-like creatures for fire-burning relics of a long forgotten time and add in an evil witch and you are left with the supernatural villains of this film.  Ferguson’s take on Morgana is a bit darker and ancient.  The special effects highlight the impact Cornish has now working with major studios on his ideas.  The film packs enough of an action filled punch to keep adults and kids thoroughly engulfed in the revamped Arthurian tale.  There is a quality car sequence that mixes perfectly the line of humor and fear the film straddles throughout.

Andy Serkis’ lovely kiddo owns the role of Alex and gives Cornish another real talent to launch into the movie stratosphere, like John Boyega in ATTACK THE BLOCK.  Louis Ashbourne Serkis is the perfect smallish hero that showcases the biggest heart to overcome all odds.  He especially works well with his comedic counterpart Dean Chaumoo, the chubby sidekick Bedders.  Tom Taylor (Lance) and Rhianna Dorris (Kaye) roundout the Arthur table of heroes as the tough baddies changed by Ashbourne’s Alex.  But the real entertainment of the film is by Angus Imrie who steals ever moment on-screen as the “Young” Merlin.  Angus and Louis Ashbourne make for a quality pairing but Angus character has a ton more to work with from Cornish’s witty screenplay.  Sir Patrick Stewart gives the cast a real celebrity name even for a simple cameo’s worth of material.

Overall this version of King Arthur is just young enough to work for middle schoolers and teens but dark enough to work for an adult’s sensibilities.  I would recommend keeping younger kids at bay from this one as Morgana and her army do have a real “from hell” quality.  Joe Cornish once again showcases an extreme wit mixed in with an eye for adrenaline pumping action all from a youthful perspective.  20th Century Fox should have its first nice hit of the year with this magical story.


Directed by Joe Cornish

Written By Joe Cornish

Rated PG

Selig Rating B+

Running Time 2hr

Adventure / Family / Fantasy

Wide Release January 25th

Starring: Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Angus Imrie, Tom Taylor, Rihianna Dorris, Dean Chaumoo, Denise Gough, Rebecca Ferguson, Sir Patrick Stewart


The Selig Rating Scale:

A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

B – Good movie

C – OK movie

D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.


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