It has been eight years since writer/director Joe Cornish released the outstanding Attack the Block. And his return to our cinema screens this month proves more than worth the wait. With The Kid Who Would Be King delivering an intelligent, witty and engaging adventure. Providing a fantasy adventure born of the challenges inherent in our current world. A world where many young people feel let down by older generations who could have forged a better future.
Merging Arthurian legend, modern childhood and Brexit Britain. The Kid Who Would Be King reflects the humour, imagination and creativity of classic films. Ranging from the humour of The Explorers, to the imagination of Super 8. While relishing its ability to engage all ages at different levels. In a fantasy that plays with modern day challenges, while providing children with a deeply engaging adventure.
Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) thinks he’s just an average kid, his life a mundane set of the trials and tribulations of being 12. That is until stumbles upon the mythical sword in the stone, Excalibur. After escaping the school bullies (Lance and Kaye) who torment him and best friend Bedders. And when a young version of Merlin appears at school (Angus Imrie). A quest begins to unite friends and enemies into a band of legendary knights. The very future of the world in the hands of child king.
The interface between the legend of King Arthur and a modern contemporary British setting feels like it shouldn’t work. But it does, mainly through a beautifully structured screenplay, dovetailing with a superb young cast.
The Kid Who Would Be King believes in young people. It gives both hope, and ultimately a challenge to children to build something better than the society they inherit. This optimistic view of our young people is something rarely see in film, and something I personally found highly emotional.
Buzzing with satirical energy and beautifully constructed comedy, while never forgetting its roots as a fantastical adventure. The Kid Who Would Be King is pure joy from start to finish, wrapping you in a delightful blanket of adventure and optimism. Alongside wonderful performances from a young and talented cast, visual effects that deliver, but do not dominate. Ultimately creating a film that is pure magic for old and young alike.
Director: Joe Cornish