So much energy and time is taken getting the young stars to seem convincing and realistic, the story and the ultimate drama suffer in realism and outright force
Turning a drama set in a British secondary school fronted by child actors into an all encompassing cinematic powerhouse is genuinely impossible. But The Kid Who Would Be King has absolutely tried, and splurged out (in some aspects) a decent production, but ultimately struggles to tie together its CBBC feel with the overriding emotions of an all out CGI flick.
Young Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) is a British school boy trying to find his way through daily life. Constantly having to keep his bullied best friend Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) from harm, the pair are often led to a deserted building site to escape those hunting them. However, after chancing upon a mythical sword, Alex and Bedders are thrown into a journey unlike any other, turning their day-to-day slog into an ever changing mystical quest.
The Kid Who Would Be King is controlled almost solely by its four lead child actors. Angus Imrie, Rebecca Ferguson and Patrick Stewart offer some light relief, but however great the children are, there’s always going to be elements of the film that suffer because of them. So much energy and time is taken getting the young stars to seem convincing and realistic, the story and the ultimate drama suffer in realism and outright force.
Making up for some of the failings is the great visual imagery and overarching design of the piece, but it isn’t enough to truly tie the whole feature together. The Kid Who Would Be King very much feels like select parts are worth noting, but even more of it is cringe-worthy and forgettable.
British schooling doesn’t translate to the global screen in the way American education has for quite some time, and that will almost certainly deny it a wider audience. Yet it does have moments to marvel at and jokes to enjoy, just not enough of either, and far too much filler piled in between every bright spark.
Donate £1 To Help Us Keep Going