Geek Review: The Kid Who Would Be King

Attack the Block was a fun movie, and for whatever reason, it took writer/director Joe Cornish eight years to write and direct another one.

That next movie is The Kid Who Would Be King where a twelve year old pulls Excalibur out of a stone.

After an animated prologue showing how King Arthur, Merlin, and the Knights of the Round Table defeated Arthur’s villainous half-sister Morgan Le Fay (Rebecca Ferguson), we cut to the present day where a news cast tells us that the world has not been as divided as it is today in centuries.  That’s an interesting observation for someone on the news to make–is someone measuring this sort of thing?–but this is ultimately a kids movie, so we should take that sort of thing in stride.  However, that does mean the sword will soon return to a new noble bearer, someone who can bring light to a dark world.

And that would be twelve year old Alex Eliot, a boy who already routinely stands up to the two school bullies, Kaye and Lance, who routinely pick on him and his longtime friend Bedders.  And with the sword comes Merlin, who alternately takes the form of a weird teenager (Angus Imrie) or a disheveled old man (Geek Fave Patrick Stewart).  Eliot soon has Bedders, Kaye, and Lance knighted as his new Knights of the Round Table and a quick deadline to defeat Morgan once and for all.

This is a rather charming little movie.  It’s fine for kids and won’t bother adults.  Stewart is only in a handful of scenes in what could arguably be an extended cameo, but Imrie is something of a comedic delight, an oddball who doesn’t seem to realize how odd he is, with a crazed look in his eye and a lot of high speed hand gestures the character uses to cast spells.  The kids are all engaging, and while this isn’t as deep as a lot of fantasy movies, it aims for a kid audience and I would say hits that target very well.  It’s not the best kids movie I’ve seen, but it’s a damn fun one.  8 our of 10 surprised drivers.

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