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Like recent superhero films, children’s movies have fallen into a safe and predictable pattern: Some great evil is rising and gaining strength, bringing the promise of Armageddon to the world, and the only thing standing in its way is the main character, the “Chosen One” who for whatever plot-contrived reason is the only person able to stand against the growing evil. But this is what makes “The Kid Who Would Be King” a wildcard. Instead of playing it safe within clichés of the genre, this movie actually tries to be a little bit more.
In a nutshell, “The Kid Who Would Be King” is director Joe Cornish’s take on the legend of King Arthur, specifically on Arthur’s return to save England in its darkest hour. In the movie, Arthur himself does not actually return; instead, the once and future king is 11-year-old Alexander Elliot (Louise Ashburn Serkis) who pulls the legendary sword Excalibur out from a slab of concrete in a construction site.
Adversary - Morgan - Fey - Enchantress - Enemy
This marks him as the adversary of Morgan le Fey, the enchantress and sworn enemy of Arthur (she also happens to be his half-sister) who then proceeds to send her undead warriors to kill Alex and take Excalibur. Leaning on his friend Beddoes, school-bullies-turned-allies Kay and Lance, and the wizard Merlin (Angus Imrie and Patrick Stewart), Alex must find a way to stop le Fay before her undead army can enslave Britain.
This synopsis makes the film sound as if it falls completely within the parameters of current trends in children’s movies and, to be honest, in its beats, the movie does follow most of the tropes. We have the familiar themes of friendship and courage; we have a hero who doubts himself then rises to the occasion; we have enemies turned to reluctant allies only to become actual friends....
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