Cert PG 120mins Stars 4
This live action fantasy adventure is a magical modern day take on the age-old myth of King Arthur and the knights of Camelot.
When an ordinary suburban schoolboy discovers a mysterious sword, he’s thrust on a thrilling quest to discover the hero inside himself, helped by an inclusive trio of schoolmates.
Far superior to Guy Ritchie’s awful King Arthur from 2017, this is packed with action and humour as it stays faithful to the broad sweep of the legend, and carefully includes key details such as pulling the sword Excalibur from the stone, the lady in the lake and shapeshifting wizards.
The great location work makes wonderful use of our ancient English countryside and monuments such as Stonehenge, while the epic showdown takes place in an urban setting which may bring out the cold sweats in any watching schoolteacher.
Louis Ashbourne Serkis is an open faced and engaging presence as the 12 year old Alex who somewhat reluctantly seizes his destiny as the new Arthur. You may recognise his surname but not his face, as his actor dad, Andy, is usually hidden behind a CGI mask as characters such as Gollum, in The Lord of the Rings franchise.
Angus Imrie brings agreeable eccentricity as Merlin, and Patrick Stewart adds some acting gravitas as an older version of the wizard, who help the kids take on Rebecca Ferguson’s evil witch, Morgana.
A very English film with universal appeal which carries a message of honesty, truth, perseverance and the importance of honouring ones parents, though the last point seems to sail over the head of my 8 year old.
He’s the perfect age to enjoy this and sat rapt throughout, though he confessed the creepy factor was near the upper limit of his tolerance. Haha.
Written and directed with smart and fierce sincerity by Joe Cornish, this is as a thoroughly enjoyable and well-crafted family half-term entertainment.