The Kid Who Wouldn’t Be King of the Box Office


A promotional poster for “The Kid Who Would Be King.”

Dante Bernhardt, Video Editor

Directed and written by Joe Cornish, The Kid Who Would Be King follows the heroic upbringing of British kid named Alexander, who is deemed the direct descendant of King Arthur after pulling Excalibur from a dilapidated support beam in a construction site.

Alex, as well as his best friend Bedders, must unite to create an army, and vanquish the witch Morgana to save the world.

Unlike 2018’s Robin Hood, a banal and stale take on a tread-on character, The Kid Who Would Be King presents an exuberant, enticing, and enjoyable re-imagining of the Round Table legend fit for the entire family.

Alex, played by Louie Ashbourne Serkis, the son of famed actor Andy Serkis, is a likable and steadily matured character, whose progression can be seen throughout the entire viewing, allowing audiences to savor his growth as a hero. The Round Table that accompanies him, made up of Bedders, Lance, and Kaye, are all properly given arcs, balancing well with Alex’s. The growth between the characters is prominent so even the smallest of cognizant children can comprehend it.

Angus Imrie, British television actor, enthusiastically plays a younger Merlin for most of the movie, with Sir Patrick Stewart playing the older counterpart. Both offer their own eccentric attitude of the character, though this can be a bit jarring at times as they are meant to be the same person. The differences are subtle enough not be noticed too heavily as old age seems to be the only thing separating the outlandish behavior of both.

Morgana, the evil half-sister of King Arthur, is a standard popcorn-flick affair. Rebecca Ferguson does nothing more than threaten the lives of children and create a feeble army that even kids can take down.

The plot of Kid King is, of course, based off the legend of King Arthur, but unlike most previous adaptations that simply retread old ground with flashier set pieces (though King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was actually fun), Kid King morphs the classic around a modern setting, with a storybook of the tale being literally utilized as a map for their next plan of action, guiding their movements to fit how the story should continue.

Though circumstances are world-ending, the quest is also fairly self-contained with the only people occasionally interacting with the crew being Alex’s mother and classmates. The script contains kid-friendly jokes and dialogue, but nothing too spectacular to adults. That sort of thing is to be expected though, as it is labeled a kid’s movie.

Despite this, the film does hit on some very touching moments, which if you are a sucker for sappy moments, you may want to grab more theater napkins. These moments genuinely move the plot forward and continue to build character, a feat which many other children’s movies fail to accomplish.

Overall, The Kid Who Would Be King is a movie with a cool title, good cast, and great feel for adventure. Sadly, the movie has barely been able to reach its budget in sales. This lack of support tells studios to not invest in wholesome movies like these. I advise families to check this flick out if they have the chance, as it is a romp from start to finish.

I bestow the Once and Future King of King Arthur movies a 7.5 out of 10.