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. The Kid Who Would Be King delivers an intelligent, witty and engaging adventure—providing a fantasy born of the challenges inherent in our current world.
Merging Arthurian legend, modern childhood, and Brexit Britain, The Kid Who Would Be King reflects the humour, imagination, and creativity of classic films. Here Cornish’s movie relishes its ability to engage all ages with a fantasy that plays with modern-day challenges, while providing children with a deeply engaging adventure.
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Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) thinks he’s just an average kid, his life a mundane set of the trials and tribulations of being 12. However, his life is about to change when he stumbles upon the mythical sword in the stone, Excalibur, after escaping the school bullies (Lance and Kaye) who torment him and his best friend, Bedders. Following his discovery, a young version of Merlin appears at school (Angus Imrie), and a quest begins to unite friends and enemies into a band of legendary knights.
The interface between the legend of King Arthur and modern contemporary Britain often feels like it shouldn’t work. However, through a delightful screenplay and superb young cast, it does. The Kid Who Would Be King believes in young people’s power to change our world. Here, Cornish offers hope and belief that our children can, and will, build something better than we currently have. Alive with satire and comedy while never forgetting its roots as a fantastical adventure, The Kid Who Would Be King is pure joy.
Director: Joe Cornish