THE KID WHO WOULD BE KING – Review by Susan Granger

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According to folklore, when the bitterly divided world is in discord, King Arthur will return to save humanity. But the idea that the legendary King could appear in Brexit-era London comes as a shock to 12 year-old Alex Elliot (Louis Ashbourne Serkis).

Mild-mannered Alex and his chubby best-friend Bedders (Dean Chauymoo) are constantly bullied at their middle-class suburban school by Lance (Tom Taylor) and Kaye (Rhianna Dorris).

Fleeing from his tormentors, Alex sneaks into an abandoned construction site where he discovers a sword stuck in a piece of broken concrete. Extracting it, he reads the Latin inscription which indicates it might be King Arthur’s fabled Excalibur.

Although he treasures the King Arthur book his estranged dad gave him, Alex doesn’t take it seriously until a fiery demon torments him that night.

Then a bizarre transfer student named Mertin befriends him. It’s the wizard Merlin, of course. Switching between teenage form (Angus Imrie) and elderly (Patrick Stewart, wearing a Led Zeppelin t-shirt), he relates a centuries-old curse.

Although Arthur’s evil half-sister, enchantress Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson), was imprisoned deep underground, during the upcoming solar eclipse, Morgana will rise to claim Excalibur.

So it’s up to Alex to recruit an army, leaving his mother (Denise Gough) this note: GONE ON QUEST TO SAVE BRITAIN DON’T WORRY.

Enrolling his enemies as Knights of the Round Table and mentored in the chivalric code by Merlin, plucky Alex embarks on a mission that takes him through Stonehenge and beyond, pursued by flaming skeletons on horseback.

British writer/director Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) creates a witty, imaginative, updated Arthurian allegory, filled with wonder and delight.

Conjuring Merlin notes that legends of the past are always filtered through ‘unreliable storytellers,’ filling the needs of the powerful. “You must write them anew,” he urges.

FYI: Louis Ashbourne Serkis’s father is Andy Serkis (“Lord of the Rings”).

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Kid Who Would Be King” is a sword ‘n’ sorcery 7, a charming fantasy/adventure for the whole family.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.