Mommy Movie Review: Should You Take Your Kids to “The Kid Who Would Be King?”

The Kid Who Would Be King stars Ashbourne Serkis (yes, that’s Andy Serkis’ kid) as a modern teenager who finds the Sword in the Stone and must battle a medieval menace to save the world. It’s a lovely jumble of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and King Arthur with a dash of Shaun of the Dead thrown in. The Kid Who Would Be King is also bolstered by a strong cast, featuring stalwarts like Rebecca Ferguson and Patrick Stewart, along with a collection of charming young actors (Angus Imrie’s Merlin is my particular favorite).
Unfortunately, The Kid Who Would Be King eventually succumbs to too much story, which seems to be massive problem with films lately. Highly anticipated recent movies like Glass, Aquaman, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald have ALL suffered from this, which makes me wonder why directors feel the need to go long? History is filled with incredible films like The Lion King, Stand By Me, Zombieland, and Toy Story that were all under 90 minutes long. Even Gravity is a cool 91 minutes, so it’s definitely possible to tell a great story in less that 2 hours. So why do filmmakers add unnecessary story lines, false endings and, of course, twists? The Kid Who Would Be King clocks in at 120 minutes, but I feel at least 20 of those could’ve easily been shaved off the story. That would’ve made for a fast-moving, easy to follow film that would have kept kids engaged. Instead, it rambles, loses focus, and potentially leaves it’s audience in the dust before a spectacular finale.
The MPAA has rated The Kid Who Would Be King PG for “fantasy action violence, scary images, thematic elements including some bullying, and language.” I honestly didn’t see anything in this film that would be traumatic for your average 8-year-old and up. There are some scary scenes, especially those featuring skeletal underworld warriors, but little else that should keep kids at home. My own 11-year-old wasn’t scared at all, and enjoyed the film until it took too many frustrating turns. I liked it more than she did though, and highly recommend The Kid Who Would Be King for Harry Potter and Percy Jackson fans alike. Just plan some extra potty-breaks and maybe buy (*bring*) additional snacks! (C+)
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