Let's be honest, we've all seen 'The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)' before. It's a kid-friendly, modern-day reimagining of an old legend entered around a 'chosen one' narrative and an ensemble of single-trait characters. That doesn't mean that it's without its merits, though. It may occupy a well-worn genre but it occupies it well, comfortably conforming to - and occasionally contorting - the conventions it knows so keenly. It also has a good amount of edge, self-censoring only through its central conceits, and, as such, it feels much closer to the fondly-remembered 'kid' films of yesteryear than most of the stuff being pumped out today (and not just because it's live-action). This actually makes it feel incredibly authentic as each moment seems to serve the story. Whether it's scary, funny, heartfelt or just plain action-packed, the flick always makes a point of staying true to itself, having an excellent understanding of its target audience in the process. Of course, this means that much of the piece is painted in pretty broad strokes. The humour is never really successful and the character-work is all incredibly basic. Still, it's appreciated. By the time the finale rolls around, you'll be invested in the characters and will actively want to see them succeed. Speaking of the finale, it's probably the best part; it's exciting, well-staged and uniquely large-scale. Unfortunately, it's preceded by a pace-killing 'fake-out' that's not only obvious but also just far too long. Without it, I feel the picture would have moved much more smoothly into its final movement and, generally, been all the more successful. It doesn't destroy the experience, though. Overall, the movie is a fun and well-executed entry into a widely-seen genre. It's, essentially, as predictable as it is enjoyable. It's not groundbreaking, nor extremely engaging, but it's entertaining enough to be worth a watch, especially - I suppose - if you aren't as familiar with its framework as I am. 6/10
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