‘The Kid Who Would Be King’ Is An Inspiring, Instant Classic [Review]

The Playlist | 1/12/2019 | Kevin Jagernauth
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It’s never easy being young, and while it’s a cliché trotted out every couple of decades, this generation might have it the worst. While Generation X endured the vanished promises of the post-Boomer years with self-aware malaise, young people today face a world that is apocalyptic on almost every front while a sociological mood of self-preservation over the common good pervades Western cultures. It is literal Doom and Gloom, as writer/director Joe Cornish splashes across newspaper headlines in his slyly subversive “The Kid Who Would Be King.” Using major studio money, Cornish’s sophomore effort joins the recent “Paddington” movies in blending socially conscious messages within terrifically sharp and entertaining family entertainment, creating a unique moment in British film that hopefully doesn’t end here.

READ MORE: The 100 Most Anticipated Films Of 2019

Sensation - Insignificance - Alex - Louis - Ashbourne

Certainly, the despairing sensation of insignificance that 12-year-old Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) feels, is heightened against the backdrop of a world facing imminent collapse. “The world is not going to change, you have to change,” he’s warned by his principal. Alex is advised by another, “Don’t be a hero, it’s not worth it.” So, it’s not a surprise that when he pulls the legendary sword, Excalibur, out of some stone behind a building site, not only is he skeptical, he’s not quite sure he wants the job of saving the world. Dealing with growing up without a father, and protecting his best mate Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) from bullies is enough for the young man to handle. So, he’ll need some convincing.

READ MORE: The Best Movies of 2018.

Picture - Turn - Angus - Imrie - Merlin

Entering the picture in a hilarious, star-making and charming turn is Angus Imrie as Merlin — or rather Mertin, the alias he uses to try and blend in with Alex’s grade school chums. The ancient magician comes bearing news — King Arthur’s old...
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