Old school magic meets the modern world in the epic adventure of The Kid Who Would Be King.
Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) thinks he’s just another nobody, until he stumbles upon the mythical sword in the stone, Excalibur. 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.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Damon F. comments, “…it is a good combination of an action movie and a heartwarming storyline that gives it a great message.” Zoe C. adds, “I like how it starts with illustrations that look like you are reading a book, then transitions to a live action film. While watching this, it made me think about Harry Potter, although it is very different than other magical and majestic films like the Harry Potter films, Fantastic Beasts and other fantasy movies.”
Juanita L. wraps it up with, “It is a family film full of adventure and a very timely version of a classic tale about the famous Excalibur sword of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. Writer/Director, Joe Cornish gives us a fresh look at the King Arthur tale.”
Check out the trailer and their full reviews below.
The Kid Who Would Be King is a heartwarming film about a boy named Alexander who finds out that he is the future king of Britain. Now, he, his friends and his enemies must embark on a quest to defeat a wicked enchantress named Morgana before the end of a solar eclipse. This film is based on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, including the legend of the magical sword, Excalibur. At night, everyone disappears from the world except for Alex and anyone he has knighted. This way they can take whatever they want and try to defeat all of Morgana’s minions. When they are all gone, Alex and his knights stay where they are and everything else returns to normal.
There are lots of cool scenes in this film that involve exciting sword battles. In my interview with Sir Patrick Stewart (Merlin), Rhianna Dorris (Kaye) and Louis Ashbourne Serkis (Alex), I learned that the cast used real swords to train with to learn the real feel and heaviness of medieval swords and armor. However, in the actual film they used realistic plastic swords, because otherwise it would be too dangerous.
My favorite character in this film is Merlin (Angus Imrie/Sir Patrick Stewart). He is serious and gets things done most of the time, but he also does a lot of funny and cool things that are really appealing to watch. For example, when he does his magic, all the stuff around him is flying through the air and all the lights are flickering. That is a really interesting effect.
My favorite scene is when Alexander and a few of his knights are rushing through the woods on horses while trying to defeat a large army of fire monsters on fire breathing horses who are trying to take Excalibur away from them. This scene is very exciting and has a few funny parts in it, too.
The message of this film is that anyone can be a king; you just need to have a good heart and follow the knight’s code, which says that you must “honor those you love, refrain from wanton offense, speak the truth at all times and persevere in any enterprise until the end.”
I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 18, because it is a good combination of an action movie and a heartwarming storyline that gives it a great message. I think adults will enjoy watching this with their kids. This movie opens in theaters on, Jan. 25, 2019. Look for it!
— Damon F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11
This movie is very interesting. I like how it starts with illustrations that look like you are reading a book, then transitions to a live action film. While watching this, it made me think of Harry Potter, although it is very different than other magical and majestic films like the Harry Potter films, Fantastic Beasts and other fantasy movies.
The film is based on the King Arthur story and retold in a modern way. It’s about a boy named Alex (Louis Ashborne Serkis) who finds the Excalibur sword and embarks on an adventure trying to battle bullying and injustice. He teams up with his best friend in his journey to become a great leader. Alex and his enemies become a group of brave knights to fight monsters and defy great dangers.
In the beginning, Alex and his best friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) are victims of bullying at their school. They believe they are regular boys, until one day Alex comes across a sword in a big rock. He pulls it out and he shows it to Bedders. Later, they realize that everything that happens to them is similar to what happened in a book Alex’s dad gave him with a very special dedicatory. It is a very special book because, despite that his father left, he has feelings for him. He and Bedders go on a quest that replicates in many ways the story of the King Arthur legend. Alex not only discovers his power for being a leader and doing good deeds, it is also a self discovery of loss and acceptance.
This spin on the classic King Arthur tale has a different purpose than other films or interpretations of this classic tale: to show today’s’ kids the power of classic tales, the importance of books and to find the good within ourselves by retelling the story in a contemporary way and making it relatable to a new generation.
The film reminds us why books are essential in our education and how they show messages about perseverance and loyalty. In the movie, the main characters face lots of obstacles, and some are very scary!
The scenes with the medieval villain Morgana are particularly exciting. I also love the scenes with Merlin, especially the younger one. They are funny and obviously magical. I like that Alex and Bedders team up with their enemies in their journey. I enjoy the sets in London from the landscapes near the city to the beautiful Stonehenge. The sets and costumes are well done. The acting is very good and the special effects believable.
The story flows well, though there are so many scenes that make the film longer than necessary. Another thing that bothered me was that it references so many things we have seen in other films. That makes it not very original. Also, some scenes are a little too over dramatic. I do like how this film shows the classic tale based on someone pulling a sword out of a stone and becoming king.
The message of this film is that nobody is just ordinary. We just have to discover the great powers we have within ourselves. I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for kids 6 to 18. It opens in theaters on Jan. 25, 2019, so look for it.
— Zoe C. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10
I enjoyed watching The Kid Who Would Be King. It is a family film full of adventure and a very timely version of a classic tale about the famous Excalibur sword of King Arthur and his knights of the round table. Writer/Director Joe Cornish gives us a fresh look at the King Arthur tale.
I like that the story is retold using the book given to Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) as the source for his adventure. We see Alex along with his fellow students at school and going about their daily activities as they hear and see negative news about a divided United Kingdom. It is similar to the type of activities we are experiencing in the United States today.
We see Alex defending his friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo), a would-be magician, which leads him to become the target of bullies Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Doris). After running from them, Alex discovers a sword in a stone. He and Bedders deem it to be Excalibur. Alex is reminded by Bedders and his book of King Arthur of his mission to unite and fight the evil of Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson), sister of King Arthur.
My favorite scene is when young Merlin (Angus Imrie) appears at the school as a lanky new teen student with an ill-fitting uniform. To me, he steals the scene with his hand actions, clicking and snapping to perform his sorcery. The repetition of his sorcery provides some elements of humor and, at one point, I tried to duplicate his hand actions.
The CGI and other visuals and music are acceptable. Be aware that there is fantasy action violence, scary images with bullying. The Kid Who Would Be King has an important and timely message. We see young people standing up to wrongs and taking on what is right. Age is not a deterrent and a group victory can be achieved.
I recommend this film for ages 8 to 18, and some adults. I give it 5 out 5 stars. This opens in theaters Jan. 25, 2019, so look for it.
— Juanita L., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror