The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)
November 10, 2019 4:32 PM - Subscribe

Alex thinks he's just another nobody, until he stumbles upon the mythical Sword in the Stone, Excalibur. Now, he must unite his friends and enemies into a band of knights and, together with the legendary wizard Merlin (Patrick Stewart), take on the wicked enchantress Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson). With the future at stake, Alex must become the great leader he never dreamed he could be. Written and directed by Joe Cornish (Attack the Block).

Alex is played by Louis Ashbourne Serkis, son of motion capture actor extraordinaire Andy Serkis.
posted by DirtyOldTown (13 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This is new to HBO in the US.

I spent the first half of this mentally writing my review about how this was criminally underrated. And then the second half hit a thirty minute stretch that squandered a great deal of momentum and good will.

If I can't quite call it a winner for the whole family as I was hoping, I can at least say it's a winner for kids watching PG-14 films, above average in tolerability for grown-ups, and has its moments.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:35 PM on November 10, 2019

If this movie doesn’t end with Kafir locals cutting a rope bridge and sending the titular kid tumbling to his death down a ravine, I would like to lodge a complaint about the title.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:49 PM on November 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

I was impressed by the actor who played young Merlin -- acting that weird without seeming super affected is a neat trick. And...uh, the movie was fine? I was expecting better, because Attack the Block was better, but it's a serviceable kids movie. (AKA better than most, but not good enough that I'd want to watch it without a kid around.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:14 PM on November 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

My kids wholeheartedly and unironically adore this movie, which honestly surprised me since it's live action, very English, and rooted in a lot of stories they haven't heard before. No worries there though - they get it, they love it, they consider it in their top 5.
posted by annathea at 7:20 AM on November 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

I needed a fluffy movie to watch and this seemed to fit the bill. It does sort of sputter along in the second half and hits a lot of oddly paced parts. The first part of the school battle was very cute but the final little fight with Morgana is strangely anticlimactic.

Going to feel very sad about Patrick Stewart.
posted by fleacircus at 2:57 PM on November 11, 2019

My seven-year-old daughter and I really enjoyed this movie.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:14 AM on November 12, 2019

We watched this in theaters and again recently on HBO. My kid is REALLY into bad guys and so I’m constantly on the lookout for more fantastical violence to scratch that itch, and this movie definitely qualifies. Not something I’d choose to watch alone but I enjoyed watching with my kid. (House with a Clock in its Walls scratched a similar itch.)
posted by emkelley at 12:25 PM on November 12, 2019

And um why are we feeling sad about Patrick Stewart!?!
posted by emkelley at 12:26 PM on November 12, 2019

We aren't, it was a future tense thing. He's fine.
posted by fleacircus at 1:01 PM on November 12, 2019

posted by emkelley at 2:10 PM on November 12, 2019

Attack the Block is one of my favorite films, but the mixed reviews I saw for this had me passing on TKWWBK until Movies With Mikey [SLYT] convinced me it was a kid-friendly sequel to Excalibur.

(Also, the phrase “Patrick Stewart with Bernie Sanders hair” pretty much makes the 4:04 spent on the video worth it.)
posted by FallibleHuman at 5:09 PM on November 13, 2019

We really enjoyed this movie in our house - we saw it in the theater and then rented out a smaller theater to show it for our son's 9th birthday. Of course, when we were in the UK this summer, Tintagel Castle was still not open due to bridge replacement delays, which I suspect would have lead to a very different movie.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:33 PM on November 13, 2019

This went down really well with my kid. He's at a bit of an awkward age for movies, too young for the MCU, but wanting something a bit stronger than the U-rated Pixar and Disney stuff.

I also really liked the plot reveal that the protagonist is not the son of a king, just someone who's right. Though maybe a bit ironic given the casting.

I also appreciated the cameo from Adam Buxton as the Stonehenge tour guide, the director's former partner in the Adam and Joe show.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 5:38 AM on August 30, 2023

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