Writer-director Joe Cornish’s family-friendly fantasy film puts a contemporary spin on the legend of King Arthur. An unexceptional English boy (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) pulls Excalibur from a rock and is informed by Merlin (Angus Imrie and Patrick Stewart) that he is destined to lead the charge against evil medieval enchantress Morgana le Fay’s attempt to conquer the world.~Augustine Chay
This fits with Goonies as a movie that is bringing to life what kids see in their imaginations as they play in the woods, this one just so happens to be steeped in Arthurian legend and it does it really well.
The real standout here is teen Merlin who is fricken hilarious and grows up to be Sir Patrick Stewart. It is the performance that really carries the film. The other kids are good but he is great.
The music is fitting, the scenery is gorgeous, and the creature designs on the skeleton knights is pretty awesome and their fire flexes the HDR the most of anything in the film.
Complaints are minor, mostly that it feels a bit long, but there really isn't more than 5 minutes to cut. I have seen talk about it having a false or early ending that could have served as the finale, though it really could not as the entire movie was setting up the ending we got and we needed the earlier beat to get there properly and to carry a large part of the moral about honesty.
The Kid Who Would Be King is a really enjoyable ride and plays perfectly to my love of adventures with young protagonists. Very much worth watching and I love the sheer optimism and lack of cynicism, not used to that in movies now days.
Bullying is handled very well in this film, and heroism is defined by character and hard choices. I like how it promotes taking chances for the greater good. The child actors are terrific. They remain kids throughout the movie, not little adults. We've watched it repeatedly.
I don't think this movie was a big box office hit here in the US, but it's a pretty good, family-friendly, modern take on The Sword and the Stone.
The kid actors were above average, plus Patrick Stewart!