Movie Review: The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)

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Summary: A band of kids embark on an epic quest to thwart a medieval menace.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Louis Ashbourne Serkis as Alexander “Alex” Elliot. He is our 12-year-old hero. He tries to stand up for his friend whenever he gets bullied, but he doesn’t always feel like he can make any difference in this world. He’s just a cog in a machine. However, one night things change for him when he manages to pull a sword from stone on a building yard. He begins to believe in this journey that is inspired from his storybook. He picks up on the myth quickly, it isn’t something he has to be introduced too. Of course like all Chosen Ones, he’s against it at first, he’s just a kid but he soon realizes that he can’t run from this and he’s all in. A bit too over his head but he’s ready for the challenge. He never backs down and even in his weakest moments, people still believe and root for him. Alex is a great character to add to the Chosen One list. He’s noble, wise and determined and I really liked him. First of all, Louis Serkis looks JUST LIKE HIS DADDY Andy Serkis. But this kid was great. His emotional moments were so pure and I really believed that he was a descendant of King Arthur. He’s a really dynamic lead actor.
  • Dean Chaumoo as Bedders. This kid was the cutest. He’s the sidekick who is often bullied more than the main character, and they may not feel as important or strong as the main character but Bedders never says any of this until he has to confront Alex himself. Bedders spends a lot of the movie following Alex, but he has his own interests, his own reasons for joining. It’s fun at first, but when stuff hits the fan, he’s ride or die and that’s really great. Plus, his interest in magic also allows him to gain even more experience that he may not have gotten otherwise. Dean Chaumoo seems like a really sweet and genuine kid and the way he plays Bedders, it comes through.
  • Tom Taylor as Lance. So he is the main bully of the film along with Kaye, which is funny since Lancelot is like Arthur’s right hand man for a time ya know before the whole love triangle thing lol. But, he’s mean and he only thinks about himself and what he wants, what he is supposed to be and have, and his journey is probably one of the bigger ones in the film. He’s one of those characters that you probably won’t like in the beginning but you grow to like him as he seems to grow up. This young actor is likable though, which I think is a good thing for this character. He also have some great line deliveries and facial expressions.
  • Rhianna Dorris as Kaye. I quite liked her, especially as she went on throughout the film. She starts out as this hard character, someone who is following the leader but not the right leader. She may be able to think quick on her feet but her word is “Callow” throughout the film, meaning she is inexperienced or naive and she is when it comes to dealing with people. However, as the movie goes on, I think she’s way more willing to on Alex’s side than Lance is but she doesn’t stand up for them to Lance the way she should. That’s her journey for the film. I believe this young actress is a newbie but I thought she did really well. She’s cute, I liked her style and I very much enjoyed watching her. Very dynamic.
  • Rebecca Ferguson as Morgana. An evil sorceress and old enemy of Merlin, her half-brother King Arthur, and all of Camelot. She’s not in the movie a lot, and I actually wish she was. Her design was pretty cool and I liked the look of when she was stuck in her banished place. She had this earthy thing going on, her dress looked like it was made of roots, and she had dominion over roots and branches and stuff and it was really nice aesthetically. The few times she was on screen, she did this weird voice when she talked but that was really all. I thought Rebecca Ferguson was wasted even though she was a good choice.
  • Angus Imrie as Merlin. He is a wizard who was an ally of King Arthur. Because Merlin ages backwards, he has the appearance of a teenager after centuries have passed. This kid was great! He’s probably my favorite in the entire movie because he’s zany and weird and he just exists. When he comes to find and protect Alex,  he always manages to show up whenever he needs to. I wonder just how many times Angus did those hand motions before he got them all right and the speed and everything lol.
    • Patrick Stewart as Merlin. He is in his physically older form. We see him a few times throughout the film and the first time he shows up, it almost reminded me of when Gandalf snapped on Bilbo lol. He is great at giving great advice and he was so dishelved it was great lol.
Magic Use. I loved how Merlin did his spells. The amount of hand motions, snapping, clapping, fist pounding stuff he would do was just great. When he first did it to spell a few policemen, I was like “what in the world is he doing?” but it’s charming and funny each time he does it. Not to mention, when he sneezes to turn into a bird or to turn into his older self. It’s really great.
Character Arcs. Each of our main characters have character arcs they must go through in order to fulfill their destiny. Kaye and Lance have to learn how to work with other people who they might not have otherwise. Kaye has to learn to stand up for what she believes in and stop just following Lance because that’s how it’s always been. Lance has to learn how to not think it’s all about him and that he’s the one whose supposed to do all this stuff when he’s a right hand man. Bedders has to learn to be brave and to even at times, stand up to Alex and remind him that he has a voice too. Alex has to learn to let go of his fantasies and remember and love what is right in front of him. Plus, be able to stand up and lead others. Each character, even if their arc is small, they all manage to make it to the end of their arc and it’s great to see.
Friendly Chemistry. Alex and Bedders are best friends at the start and they have a great relationship. Mostly. There is always one friend who is “meeker” than the other and that’s Bedders. Alex tries to come to his rescue when he can but Alex also doesn’t want to put himself in anymore bullies way. Bedders believes in Alex, he might be scared, but he wants to be involved, and have something to believe in. Then you have Lance and Kaye, who are roll dogs and it’s clear that Lance is in charge which is why Kaye’s word is callow, she’s clever but she goes along with him. They trust each other but their friendship isn’t the healthiest but as the movie goes along, and they are knighted by Alex and have to learn to work with the kids they bullied, and also for Alex and Bedders to work with their bullies, it’s a lot to take in but it’s a learning experience and they do learn. They all work really well together when they are able to fall into it. It’s not easy but it’s great to watch. Plus, the young actors also work really well together.
Strong Story. This is inspired by Arthurian legends but it’s placed into the hands of a child and in modern times. This is something I haven’t seen before, at least not done well. Avalon High could have been that but the movie version completely butchered the charm of the novel. Anyways, lol I like that you have these kids who are the embodiments of the legendary heroes, tough start or not, and they all have to realize who they are in themselves, while also doing their part to fulfill the prophecy put forth by Morgana and Arthur in the past. Lance is greedy, Kaye is callow, Bedders is meek and Alex is lost in the myths. It’s something that is said throughout the film, it’s who they start out as and they have to allow this journey, this quest, to help them change into the heroes, the good people they are supposed to be. I like that while there is an overarching quest, they each had their own quest to go on.
Great Music. This films has a great soundtrack. It is full of whimsical music, triumphant sounds, cascading melodies, intensity. Lol. I think it all works to elevate what is going on in this film.
Main Climax. So obviously our people have to fight our main villain and in the trailers, we see that Alex has to get his schoolmates to fight with him. Listen, it’s great and Alex gets to be a true king, a true leader, and his friends trust themselves enough, they believe in themselves enough to lead their own battalions. It was great. It was like Home Alone but with actual war. It was such great fun to watch.
Cons:
Use of the Villain. Rebecca Ferguson plays Morgana which I thought was an interesting choice and I was really interested in seeing what she would do. The problem I have is that I think she is pretty wasted. She spends a lot of time banished in the underworld and she does a lot of whispered talking to her minions and when things happen later, she turns into this big CGI creature that I was like meh and I never really got the impending doom from her that they were building up. It was a letdown.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. When I saw the trailers, I thought “That looks cute” but I didn’t expect it to be as good as it is. It’s really good and the kids are great. Every single one of them are great in their roles. Their characters are interesting and we get to see a genuine arc from each other them that makes sense for their characters. Merlin was of course my favorite. The music is great and really fits the film. I thought the friendship built between the four main characters and even building on the two separate ones was handled really well. I really like how the magic was used, it was weird and different but very charming. I also really liked the story. It’s something we are familiar with but it’s told in a completely different way then we’re used to seeing and I think that’s what helps it stand apart and always makes it such a strong film. Also, without giving anything away, the main climax of the film is so much fun that I think I smiled throughout the entire film and I wish I could be part of it as a kid. My one main gripe is that the villain is underwhelming. I guess in the end she was just a catalyst as the real story is about the kids overcoming their own demons, but it sucks that Rebecca Ferguson was wasted and even when she was a true foe, she was an ugly CGI creature. Otherwise, check this one out. It’s a really charming and pure film.
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen The Kid Who Would Be King? If so, what did you think about it? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!
Thanks for reading! Keep an eye out for more reviews coming up! I have lots in the queue.
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