It has been 8 years since Joe Cornish released Attack the Block and his return to our cinema screens was more than worth the wait. The Kid Who Would Be King is intelligent, witty and engaging. A fantasy adventure for our time, in a world where many young people feel let down by generations who should have forged a better future for them.
Taking Arthurian legend, modern childhood and Brexit Britain, The Kid Who Would Be King is pure family entertainment in the vein of classics such The Explorers, Daryl and Super 8. It relishes in 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.
The interface between the legend of Arthur and a modern contemporary British setting feels like it shouldn’t work, but it does work, beautifully, due to an assured, funny and smart script.
The Kid Who Would Be King believes in young people, it gives hope and ultimately a challenge for our children to build something better than the society they inherit. This optimistic view of our younger generation is something that we rarely see in modern film, and something I personally found highly emotional.
This is a film that buzzes with satirical energy and beautifully constructed comedy, while never forgetting its roots as a fantastical adventure and the need to keep younger audiences engaged through set piece action sequences and imagination. Joe Cornish and the cast balance these two challenges impeccably throughout the film, while paying homage to many other fantasy films along the journey.
With wonderful performances from a young and talented cast, visual effects that deliver, but do not dominate and a score that echos fantasy films of my youth, this is a visual and creative treat that shouldn’t be missed on a big screen.
Pure magic for young, old and everyone in between. Kids are truly kings in an intelligent and beautifully made film that talks to our modern society and believes in better.