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Childrens movie fails to impress adults

The Kid Who Would Be King delivers a modern take on the story of King Arthur. The movie appeals to children, but the plot fails to captivate adult audiences.

The Kid Who Would Be King, a new fantasy adventure saga, hits theaters, Jan. 25. Distributed by 20th Century Fox and directed by Joe Carnish, the storyline follows twelve year old Alexander Elliot (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) as he stumbles across King Arthur’s legendary Excalibur and then must save the world from ancient enchantress Morgan le Fayhas

Filled with thoughts of worthlessness and bitterness, Alexander Elliot arrives at primary school. Saving a fellow student Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) from school bullies Lance (Tom Taylor) and his girlfriend Kaye (Rhianna Doris), Alex soon befriends Bedders while making enemies of Lance and Kaye. 

One night after serving in detention, Alex is chased down by Lance and Kaye. Slipping into an old construction site and losing them, he finds a sword in the rubble. Mysterious and strange, he removes it and takes it to Bedders’ house, where the two kids realize with awe, that the sword might be Excalibur

Not believing it fully and laughing it off, the boys go on to school casually the next day where a strange teenager comes to class. Stalking Alex the entire day, the boy calls him the “chosen one” and reveals himself to be Merlin in disguise. He then imparts to Alex that when Excalibur was pulled, Morgan le Fayhas was released from her prison and when the next solar eclipse would arrive in four days, her army would completely destroy the world.

Alex and Bedders round up Lance and Kaye, proclaiming that it would be smart to turn them into allies, as King Arthur did. Recruiting them into knighthood, the four set off with Merlin and begin training. The four kids learn how to have each others backs, and to always stay loyal in the midst of hardship.

Realizing that the prophecy Merlin proclaimed proves true, the headmaster suspends the rest of the school year and gives Alex his ‘army’ of kids. Reflecting bravery and strength, the army of kids prepare for the fury of Morgan le Fayhas undead army as the demons prepare to ultimately destroy the world. 

Receiving mostly positive rates from critics but ended up being a box office bomb, The Kid Who Would Be King aims to pierce the hearts of young kids and altogether show them that leadership skills are possible to attain. Not mattering how old one is, it is always possible to do the right thing and help others along the way. Age holds no importance in this storyline.

Recreating another timeless classic, Carnish found a way to speak to children without speaking down on them. He found a way to inspire without making their weakness vulnerable, and I really appreciated that about this movie.

But although very charming and entertaining to young kids, The Kid Who Would Be King presented to be less enchanting to adults and was not good as expected. Cheesy and inessential, it presented more ‘heart’, than it did of fighting. I would have liked to see Alex swing Excalibur more often at enemies, than talk about the Chivalric code and what it means to be moral in speech and action. Unrealistic and disappointing, it lacked action in its bigger sequence scenes.

Rated PG for fantasy action violence, scary images, thematic elements including some bullying, and language, this movie’s main themes are loyalty, trust and unity. I would recommend this movie to any family who has young kids and overall to teenagers who enjoy a heroic film.

For more movie reviews, read Glass provides unique perspective to superhero film genre and Green Book portrays excellent view of loyalty and friendship.

Mackenzie Beckworth can be reached via email and via Twitter.

The Kid Who Would Be King
2.6 / 5 Reviewer
Special Effects
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