The Kid Who Would Be King Review

The Kid Who Would Be King Synopsis

The Kid Who Would Be King begins with Alexander Elliott (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) as the protector of his best friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo). One his way to school Alexander sees that his friend is being bullied by classmates Lance and Kay (Tom Taylor and Rhianna Dorris). Alexander stands up for his friend and the bullies simply brush him off. Alexander doesn’t take well to being ignored and starts a whole new fight. This lands everyone in detention. Fearful of being beat up Alexander makes a run for as soon as detention lets out.

While on the run from Lance and Kay, he stumbles into a closed construction site. It is here that Alexander finds the sword in the stone. He pulls the sword with ease and takes off toward home. Bedders and Alexander are true nerds who are familiar with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table tale. Alexander is still skeptical – even after they Google the Latin inscription in the hilt. Quickly enough, the sword comes to life and the adventures begin.

Merlin (played here both by Angus Imeri and Patrick Stewart) arrives to help the young men on their quest. Merlin warns that Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson), old King Arthur’s half-sister is out from banishment and wants the sword to take over the whole of Britain. With help from Merlin and his classmates Alexander devises a plan to defeat Morgana and save Britain.

What I Like About The Kid Who Would Be King

There are so many things that I enjoy about The Kid Who Would Be King.  But mainly, I love how relatable the characters are. Alexander is a confident and at the same time an unsure pre-teen who is struggling to fit in. His best friend, Bedders, is a nerd to the highest degree. Alexander tries to tame this a little bit but also loves this about his friend. Lance and Kay are your typical bullies who use their strength feel superior. Merlin, is particularly quirky just like a wizard should be. Additionally, there is the focus of the characters acknowledging that it is okay to have different kinds of friendships and family relationships.

Would Could Have Been Improved With The Kid Who Would Be King

The two major disappointments of the film are the villain, Morgana (Ferguson) and the young Merlin (Imrie). Morgana is relegated to a relative small role in The Kid Who Would Be King. The main baddies are her undead soldiers that she sends up to attack the wayward crew. These baddies are too easily dispatched and Morgana does not come close to being the dastardly foe that Merlin makes her out to be. The little chunks of CGI where she transforms into a dragon-like creature do not do anything good for her character.

The younger Merlin (Imrie) uses magic to get the kids out of minor scrapes. But the way he goes about conjuring the magic is just plain annoying. He casts spells what seems like multiple different secret handshakes and finger-snaps. There is nothing really special or awe inspiring about it. Merlin is a wizard who is old but does not seem to have a lot of power as people might expect. His wizardry powers seem to be limited to these small magic tricks and transformations into different birds.

Final Thoughts on The Kid Who Would Be King

This is a nice retelling of The Sword in the Stone that many younger kids will find enjoyable. The pacing is quick enough to hold the interest of young minds even though it may not hold adults the same. The young actors are engaging and do great with their respective roles. I would recommend this movie for kids 10 and up. Some of the scarier parts of The Kid Who Would Be King may be just a bit too intense for younger children.

Overall Score 4/5

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About the Author
Sam started contributing reviews to Back Lot 605 late last year. Going to the movies is definitely is a full-time hobby, often going to one or two movies a week (she is really just in it for the popcorn)! She is considered the movie guru in her family. While she does love movies, the horror genre is not her cup of tea. Some of Sam’s favorite movies range from classics like The Way We Were, to funny comedies like the Hangover and while it’s hard to pick an absolute favorite, Pay It Forward ranks near the very top.
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