Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)

I’m not sure what I really expected going into The Kid Who Would Be King.  I knew it was geared towards children, but I have A-List now and it’s not costing anything for the ticket.  So, why not?  (Also, the coming attractions showed Patrick Stewart.)

You could probably tell by the previews that the movie is about a child named Alex who finds Excalibur in a stone and becomes the next King Arthur.  At his side is his faithful friend, Bedders.  The two of them are often squaring off against the school bullies, Lance and Kaye.

Things get interesting when a new student shows up in Alex’s class.  It’s actually Merlin, who has come to train Alex.  Unfortunately, Merlin got the timing wrong.  He thought he had four years to train Alex.  Instead, he has four days.  No rush.  It’s just that Morgana is going to take over the planet when the upcoming eclipse occurs.

They say that the difference between a comedy and a drama is that in a comedy, no one dies.  The biggest thing that stands out for me was that Alex, Bedders, Lance and Kaye had four days to train.  They recruit the rest of the school, who gets a whole two hours of training.  The good guys suffer no casualties.  Sure, they wreck the teachers’ cars.  They also seem to make a mess of the school.  But not so much as a stubbed toe among what would appear to be several hundred students.

As an adult, I find it just this side of obvious what the message is.  It’s not about killing your enemy.  In one way, I suppose it is.  As Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.”  Alex does this with the two bullies.  On the other hand, it’s more about finding your place and some skills to go with it.  Alex and Bedders aren’t ones to be taken seriously.

The movie would seem to be aimed at those in middle school.  There are some battles with actual demons, which would be unnecessarily scary for younger audiences.  The problem for older audiences is that it may seem a little boring.  It’s not exactly as nuanced as one might expect.  I think most adults watching this with children might spend most of the movie looking at the clock.  Fortunately, the target audience seems to be about that age where you might reasonably be able to leave them at the theater by themselves.

IMDb page

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