The Kid Who Would Be King and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox
Directed by Joe Cornish
What, a kid’s movie in January? Man… I don’t want to waste my time watching this, especially after seeing Into the Spider-Verse! Is any movie gonna be as good as that one? No? Then why even bother! Wait a minute… this is directed by Joe Cornish? As in… THE Joe Cornish? As in Attack the Block Joe Cornish!? Well why didn’t you lead with, imaginary person I’m pretending to have a conversation with! Yes, after a rather long hiatus between Attack the Block and this one where he stepped back to be a writer instead of director, he’s finally back with his second film after such an extraordinary first feature! Seriously, if you haven’t seen Attack the Block then stop reading this review and go see it now! Now, I tell you!! You want to know why John Boyega is in Star Wars!? GO WATCH THAT MOVIE!! Anyway, does the triumphant return of Joe Cornish mean we have yet another masterpiece on our hands, or did he stay away from the director’s chair this long for a good reason? Let’s find out!!
In what I can only assume is a Post-Brexit London, Alexander Elliot (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) is your run of the mill kid who gets bullied mercilessly at school but has a funny best friend named Bedders (Dean Chaumoo) whose got his back when he needs it. One day he stands up for his buddy when he’s getting taunted by older kids Lance and Kaye (Tom Taylor and Rhianna Doris) who end up chasing him down to a construction site which JUST SO HAPPENS to be empty and there JUST SO HAPPENS to the sword Excalibur sticking out of the ground. You’d think someone would have excavated it, but instead they cleared all the dirt around the sword and left it sitting there in case someone felt the urge to pull it out. This is good news for Alex who DOES have such an urge and voila! He pulls it out and all heck starts to break loose! Well not at FIRST, but the sword leaving its resting place has awakened the dark sorceress Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson who’s… in the center of the Earth I think, and it calls out to the wizard Merlin (Angus Imrie and Patrick Stewart) who heads back to London post haste to meet the new king! After some shenanigans and a fight with a giant monster that shows up at his house, Alex learns that he is in fact the next king of… Well I GUESS England (or maybe the whole UK now?) and must gather some knights to finally stab Morgana to death once and for all! Through even MORE shenanigans, he manages to enlist the help of the bullies to join him as his fellow knights along with Bedders, and so they must now find a pathway to the center of the Earth! So where do they start? Um… well, Alex’s father gave him a book on Arthurian lore when he was a kid, so maybe they should visit him on the other side of the country since he seems to have known about Alex’s King-ness well before anyone else! As good a place to start as any I guess! Will Alex and his crew find where Morgana is hiding and stop her before she can take over the world? What challenges will they be forced to face along the way, and is Alex ready for such a huge responsibility at such a young age? Can we maybe get this movie, but with the cast of Attack the Block instead? I mean I’m sure John Boyega costs a lot more now, but it’d at least make a lot more sense to me!
“Kneel before me for I am your king!” “Wait, so is that the guy who married Kate Middleton?”
The Dark Tower and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel
2007. That’s when the first rumblings of this movie’s production started to surface which it’s been LANGUISHING in cinematic limbo for a decade now. Remember when Ron Howard was gonna turn the Dark Tower into a simultaneous Television/Film experience? I sure do! Now I love me some Stephen King, but The Dark Tower was one of those things that I just let pass me by and it seemed like for a while there that Hollywood was going to do the same, but Sony decided to take this ball and cross it over the finish line in whatever state it ultimately ended up in. With so much going against this movie, from the hit or miss nature of Stephen King films, the troubled production which included three directors working on this over its ten year gestation, to even the fact that releasing a high concept fantasy movie in the modern cinematic landscape that ISN’T tied to a comic book, video game, or eighties cartoon is pretty much flirting with disaster at this point, is it possible that a GOOD movie managed to come out of all that strife and discord? Let’s find out!!
Despite what the trailers may tell you, the movie is ACTUALLY about a boy named Jake (Tom Taylor) who’s waking up every morning in a cold sweat due to his recurring dream about a man in black (Matthew McConaughey) and his horrifying sciencey magical experiments on children in hopes of destroying some giant tower. A DARK tower, if you will! He’s drawing images of what he dreams about every day (presumably in hopes of winning an Eisner once he puts all the pieces together) which along with his less than stellar coping skills over the death of his father has made him somewhat ostracized at school and has his mother very concerned. Too bad for them that his stories about evil wizards, rat people wearing human skins, and dead children turn out to be COMPLETELY TRUE as he finds a portal to another world where all this very odd stuff is happening. Gee, a misunderstood creative type who gets proven right in a Stephen King story!? WHO’D HAVE THOUGHT!? Anyway, from there he meets up with the GOOD GUY in his graphic novel who is Roland; THE LAST GUNSLINGER (Idris Elba). Now Roland wants to put a few right between The Man in Black’s icy blues eyes (mostly due to the whole making him THE LAST GUNSLINGER thing)and this kid with seemingly psychic powers (where have seen THAT before in a Stephen King book) might just be the key to finding the sneaky bastard once and for all! Can these two unlikely allies manage to stop The Man in Black from his evil schemes before he destroys THE DARK TOWER and the universe along with it? What does The Man in Black have in store for them once they find his EVIL lair? Could Idris Elba look any more BAD ASS than he does in this movie!?
“Good. Bad. I’m the guy with the gun made out of Excalibur. Which is a thing, apparently!”