THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING
Directed by: Joe Cornish
Written by: Joe Cornish
Featuring: Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Denise Gough, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor, Rhianna Dorris, Angus Imrie, Rebecca Ferguson, Patrick Stewart
A school boy whilst escaping the clutches of the school bullies makes the unlikely discovery of Excalibur on a building site. Even more unlikely he can pull it from the concrete block in which it is embedded. From this day forth his life and the life of his friends will change forever as the dark forces of Morgana from the ancient past of Britain are stirred to stop this second-coming of King Arthur.
Joe Cornish, an old favourite of mine from old Adam and Joe days, took time off hob-knobbing with Spielberg and Cruise to write and helm this child friendly bash at the much filmed legend of King Arthur. Keeping the old legendary magic from the original tale Cornish has cleverly woven in modern day aesthetics to make an engaging and fun story.
Very much in the Children’s Film Foundation mould this film licks along at a good pace and showcases the upcoming pool of talent in the UK, although most are suspiciously related to well-known and long-time actors, (closed-shop perhaps) ably supported by the adult cast including the popping in and out Patrick Stewart who appears to be having the time of his life.
The story clearly sign-posts friendship, loyalty, bravery and empathy and in this day and age some will see this as some sort of affront but to most normal people this cannot be a bad thing.
There is no real need to mull over or recap The Kid Who Would Be King, it’s Arthur and his knights going through trials and tribulations before overcoming the odds-against-them evil with the help of Merlin the Wizard. Not difficult to understand or follow, not complicated but not bad for this.
It’s plain and simple fun mainly for the younger audience, well acted, well-directed and a good example of how to make a modern-day child-friendly film that still is old-school enough to be recognisable. Funny in a irreverent way, with enough references for the oldies like me and others that the younger viewers would understand. It really is good entertainment.
Without doubt Cornish’s film is really successful at persuading us that something utterly extraordinary is happening to the very ordinary which might sound fairly basic but as we have all seen in many films before this it is a very hard trick to pull off in the cinema. The Kid Who Would Be King manages this in convincing style.
Joe Cornish now has two films on his resume as a director and a myriad of writing credits, hopefully he we will see further films he has written and directed.