Contemporary Take on Classic Legend
by Ryan Hsu
graphic by Emily Duong
“The Kid Who Would Be King,” is an exciting tween-oriented Arthurian fantasy film made in the UK and distributed by 20th Century Fox, released Jan. 25, 2019.
Set in a present day London suburb, the film opens with Alex and Bedders, (Louis Ashbourne Serkis and Dean Chaumoo), two smart, but frail misfits who not only had to deal with their respective urban family issues, but also with two relentless bullies (Tom Taylor and Rhianna Dorris) at school. While being chased by the bullies for getting them into trouble, Alex ran into a construction site where he draws Excalibur, the mystical sword of King Arthur, from a cement block. The act summons the magician Merlin (Angus Imrie), who appears as a lanky, awkward teenager who informs the boys about an undead army, led by the evil Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) and her warpath to take over the Earth, and Alex must assemble a team of knights to defeat the evil sorceress, which of course, is easier said than done. The film takes elements from different genres which all combine to form a witty and good-natured movie.
Alex is skeptical at first about Morgana, who returns at a time when the world is divided
and men had forgotten about what Arthur and his knights represented. It is only after confronting Morgana and her minions, that Alex begins to understand why Excalibur chose him for the fight. After converting the bullies Lance and Kaye into allies, Alex and his team set off on an epic journey to discover the entrance to hell to defeat Morgana on her own turf. The stage is set for a spectacular showdown of innocence versus evil.
“The Kid who would be King,” is rooted entirely in realistic home settings, full of witty,
good natured humors and relatable characters that gave the film its most interesting twist—that a boy hero was chosen not because of his special heritage such as Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. Instead, he was deemed worthy because his inherent goodness best embodies the pure heroic traits of King Arthur, and better yet, he did his best to earn that honor.
Our boy hero is ably supported by his very funny best friend and bullies turned allies,
with a stand-out performance by Angus Imrie as Merlin the teen sorcerer. While Morgana and her evil cohorts are suitably menacing, their supernatural havocs are sanitized for underage audiences. Overall the film is a perfectly wholesome family fare.
The film is rated PG, with a run-time of 120 minutes.