The Kid Who Would Be King Review: A straightforward and boring adaptation of a classic tale
Attempting to put a modern spin on a classic story, The Kid Who Would be King falls short of being anything invigorating and comes off more as boring and uninspiring.
After discovering the legendary sword in the stone, Excalibur, Alexander (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) is thrown from his normal existence into a world full of medieval wonder. Now, with the help of his friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo), his enemies, and the powerful wizard Merlin (Patrick Stewart/Angus Imrie), Alex must learn where he came from and how to be a great king before the evil Morgana (Rachel Ferguson) brings darkness to world.
For one of the most well-known stories, this adaptation not only lacks anything really new, but also doesn’t have much energy that comes from any of its characters. All of the leads lack a sense of personality and just fall into tropes without any signs of them breaking out. Really the only character that I slightly felt anything towards was the combined performance of Merlin from Stewart and Imrie. Stewart brings the wisdom and intelligence that many would associate with the mythical wizard, while Imrie actually brings some the only charming and funny moments of the film that also shows Merlin’s more zany and fun side.
Everyone else feels pretty forgettable and never really leaves a lasting impact. Alex and his fellow “knights” are just filled with a bunch of PG one-liners and jokes that never land, character building that’s kind of generic, and story points that just follow was the traditional tale goes for. Basically, the film feels like it takes no risks, push any boundaries, or try anything new and it leads to a film that, while suitable for the kid audience it goes for and not necessarily bad, lacks excitement or anything refreshing. Rather, the story’s dust is still very visible for the King Arthur story in The Kid Who Would Be King and it all sums up to be a very boring experience with only a few memorable moments that could cause charming laughter.
To give the film some credit, the film’s CGI is actually pretty eye-pleasing and adds some magic to certain scenes. The ashy and flames effects of Morgana’s army are pretty interesting and they add a small, but noticeable, element of horror that’s fun to see on-screen. They also set up some action sequences that are fun to watch and at least give some life to the film.
Overall, The Kid Who Would Be King ends up feeling like a boring history lesson over a fresh take on classic tale. It’s has some shining moments and isn’t unwatchable or anything like that, but can’t ever gather up enough energy to get viewers along for the ride. Unfortunately, the best way to describe my boredom when watching the film is upon seeing someone leave and not come back, I suddenly became jealous that I couldn’t follow.