I remember watching the very first screening of Harry Potter at my local cinema back in 2002. Having not read the books, I wasn’t sure what to expect from it. Needless to say, it cast a spell over me. I loved it.

Once the Potter flicks came to an end, studios started to produce films that they clearly were hoping would fill that void (Percy Jackson springs to mind) but none have given me that same magical viewing experience I had all those years ago.

Out of nowhere, along came the trailer to The Kid Who Would Be King. It seemed to have all the ingredients of the Potter films – magic, adolescent protagonists and thrilling special effects.

Could it be I had found what I’ve been looking for?

The movie focuses around Alex (played by Louis Ashbourne Serkis – yes, the son of Andy Serkis) – a brave young boy who lives with his single mother. He lives a pretty typical life till the day he’s chased by bullies and finds himself a sword sealed in stone that only he can release. It’s not long until he discovers that it is King Arthur’s Excalibur and so begins an epic adventure where he must ultimately kill an evil witch named Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson).

Serkis was perfectly cast as the future King. He’s confident without being arrogant and extremely likeable. However, it is his guardian and trainer, Merlin (played by both Angus Imrie and Patrick Stewart) who steals the show whenever he’s on screen – particularly in the form of his younger self. The way he casts his spells was mimicked by numerous children whilst leaving the cinema – so he clearly had an impact on them too.

And speaking of the younger audience (which is perhaps more the demographic for this particular film); at two hours it may be too long for some, but most should get a kick out of the spectacle unfolding before them.

Sadly, The Kid Who Would Be King is no Harry Potter – but it comes close and is certainly a strong start should they decide to turn this into a franchise.

ESP rating 3.5/5

Mikey Clarke

Genre: Action & Adventure

Running Time: 2hrs

Directed By: Joe Cornish

Cast: Starring: Angus Imrie, Dean Chaumoo, Denise Gough, Eileen Davies, Jake Greenlee, Joey Ansah, Keyaan Hameed, Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Mark Bonnar, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Nick Mohammed, Noma Dumezweni, Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Ferguson, Rhianna Dorris, Skye Sammarchi, Tom Taylor & Zak Holland.

See The Kid Who Would Be King and much more at Showcase Cinema, Peterborough. Visit for the latest up-to-date show times. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’.

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