1. It's a modern take on the legend of King Arthur
In only his second movie, following 2011's brilliant Attack the Block, Londoner Joe Cornish has taken the tale of King Arthur and given it a modern twist. And you know what? It works fantastically.
Instead of Arthur, we have Alex, an awkward teenager living in today's England who stumbles across a construction site where he spies a shiny sword - Excalibur.
2. The ‘kid’ of the title is terrific
In his first major film role, Louis Ashbourne Serkis is outstanding as hero-in-waiting
Alex Elliot, the young teen tasked with saving England from a bloodthirsty sorceress
and her undead hordes. He’s funny, relatable and earnestly charming – the
complete opposite of his dad in Black Panther, in fact. Yes, fact fans, Louis is the
son of Andy ‘Ulysses Klaue’ Serkis.
3. A-listers Patrick Stewart and Rebecca Ferguson are in it
Helping and hindering our once and future king in his attempt to ward off the apocalypse are established Hollywood thespians Patrick Stewart and Rebecca Ferguson.
Sharing the role of Merlin with youngster Angus Imrie, Stewart plays the age-changing wizard with wild eyes and even wilder hair, while also bringing a sense of gravitas to proceedings.
As Morgana, the powerful sorceress hellbent on world domination, Ferguson is also
clearly having a ball. The fiery final showdown between her and Alex will have you
both cowering and whooping.
4. It’s reminiscent of 80s adventure classics
Despite the modern-day setting, there are times when The Kid Who Would Be King is like taking a walk down movie memory lane. Clearly inspired by the likes of The Goonies and The NeverEnding Story, director Joe Cornish has crafted a humdinger of a children’s adventure that somehow manages to be both sweetly nostalgic and bitingly up-to-date.
Turns out they do make them like they used to!
5. The Critics love it!
We’re not the only ones who think The Kid Who Would Be King is a royally entertaining adventure. With the film having already opened in the United States, the American critics have gone mad for it. Lindsey Bahe from the Associated Press called it “a surprisingly delightful film full of action, heart and crazy-haired Patrick Stewart”, while Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore described is as “a charming family-friendly adventure”.
So if you’re looking for a fantastical treat this half-term that will thrill both young and old, we decree this one’s for you.
Old school magic meets the modern world in the epic adventure 'The Kid Who Would Be King'. 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, take on the wicked enchantress Morgana. With the future at stake, Alex must become the great leader he never dreamed he could be.
The Kid Who Would Be King – out 15 February.