Film Review: The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)

A family-friendly take on Arthurian legend The Kid Who Would Be King that doesn’t quite bridge the generation gap

“I am a perfectly normal, contemporary British school boy”

I didn’t enjoy The Kid Who Would Be King but then it wasn’t ever really aimed at the likes of me so I doubt anyone will lose any sleep over it. I came for the too-brief cameos from the likes of Noma Dumezweni, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Mark Bonnar and Claudie Blaley and was just a little bored by the rest.

Joe Cornish’s take on Arthurian legend takes us to an inner-London secondary school where 12 year old Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis, son of Lorraine and Andy) is busy dodging bullies when he comes across a sword in some stone. Of course it is *the* sword in *the* stone, he’s woken up the evil Morgana and now needs the help of Merlin, who is ageing backwards and so appears as a teenager (Angus Imrie, son of Celia), to save Britain.

It’s all proficiently done, it’s just it didn’t grab me at all. Making the Knights of the Round Table all teenagers makes sense but limits the interest. And as vivid as Rebecca Ferguson’s Morgana and her undead soldiers are, their threat is somewhat muted by being stuck to a tree and overuse respectively.

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