25 February 2019

The Treasure Of Broken Britain

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When I was a kid, there was a time I was at the local swimming pool when I spotted a single pound coin below the water. Excited, I swam down to claim my treasure only to find that the second I grabbed it the bastard somehow dissolved through my fingers. Rather than money, it seems that it was actually a tiny little turd that somebody had shat out of their swimming shorts that I'd picked up. In The Kid Who Would Be King our distinctly English hero also finds some treasure on a building site except in his case it's very much the real thing. The young boy Alex sees the sword Excalibur lodged in a block of cement and as it turns out, it's only him that can actually pull it out. If I'd have been him and knowing my luck, I'd have tried to pull it out to find that it was actually a stick that somebody had been flicking dog-shit with. In his case, he becomes Earth's saviour and must protect our broken country from the onset of demons and dragons which is a bit of an adventure for him. In my scenario, I imagine that I would have just rubbed my eyes and probably ended up fucking blind or something.

I say that Alex must protect our 'broken country' because this is a film that very much acknowledges our nation's cluster-fuck of a situation right now. In case you're not from the U.K. then essentially a group that doesn't like to be called 'racist' or 'fucking idiots' have collectively decided to shit our metaphorical bed in order to prove to Europe that we'd rather live with our own stink than with them. Meanwhile, our leaders have acted with about as much clue about what to do as a tramp that's been caught sucking off a farmer's scarecrow although without quite as much dignity. In the film, it's this chaos that has caused a demon-thing to decide that now is the right time to attack us which kind of makes sense I guess? I understand that your enemy will be more easily beaten when they're already fighting themselves but isn't it also a bit like waiting to buy a house until the current owners have smeared shit all over the walls and then burnt the place to the ground? I appreciate that it'll be easier to get now but who the fuck would want it? Thinking about it, the 'bad guy' in this should have just presented herself at some kind of election if she'd wanted to take over the place. If it was between the demon lady from this movie or the haunted cupboard door that is Theresa May then I think I'd prefer the lizard with at least a little fire in her belly.

Although this Brexit bullshit might feel like it's been going on for-fucking-ever, the idea behind this movie actually pre-dates it by several decades. The film is a very child-focused adventure in the way that The Goonies was which may well be because writer/director Joe Cornish first conceived of it when he was still a child himself. In fact, the defining image of the film is that of the Lady of the Lake presenting the sword from out of a bath which is something that Cornish apparently used to draw in school. Not bad considering that the most artistic that the rest of us got was when we'd carve cocks into the desk with a compass. Also, although I mentioned The Goonies, the film is actually so embarrassingly English that it's more like a cross-between the Narnia movies and Army Of Darkness. It's a film about the most un-cool children of all time on a quest that involves them battling a legion of medieval monsters whilst working out their differences between each other. I guess that they bicker amongst themselves to keep up the Brexit-bashing theme of us being stronger together and that we should work through our difference instead of simply pissing off. Although I can understand why some of the children in the film might struggle to accept Alex as their king simply because he carries a sword. Being set in London I'm pretty sure that the only uncommon thing about a child carrying a blade is that he didn't have to stab somebody to get it.

Not that Alex's best-friend Bedders has any problem accepting him as his new king as he basically spends the entire movie giving him the 'fuck me' eyes as it is. When Alex asks Bedders to drop to his knees, the young boy hits the ground so hard that you can see how disappointed he is when he's presented with a knighthood instead of a cock. In fact, Bedders is in such heat for his friend Alex that after two hours of watching him horn after him I'd pretty much developed a phantom boner myself out of sympathy. Not that the two are ever left alone, with them partaking in their adventure under the watchful eye of a young Merlin. And when I say 'young' I mean that he's a young boy that has an older man inside of him. Rather than being a story about another 70's icon that we're all about to have to hate however, Merlin simply has the ability to appear in two different forms. I'm not entirely sure what the point of this is beyond being able to shoehorn in a cameo from Patrick Stewart as the older version though? The younger Merlin gets most of the screen time and is kind of like if Doctor Strange had a gay nephew and he really steals every scene that he's in too. This was particularly impressive of the young actor playing him because it means I wasn't too distracted by his abnormally long neck which made it seem as though his mother had banged a fucking giraffe to conceive him.

In the end, I suppose that the film that this one reminded me the most of was Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits in that it mixes childhood adventure and heroic legends with a distinctly English feel. Like Time Bandits too I reckon that this film also has a chance of going on to be the kind of classic that we one day show to our kids assuming that we survive fucking Brexit long enough to have any. I think the other message of the film is that anybody can be a hero if they possess the right qualities and that you don't have to have special blood to be special. Although perhaps this point is slightly undermined when the child actor playing the lead just happens to be the son of the super-famous and super-talented Andy Serkis. In honesty, the kid was so good that, although I'm not complaining, nor am I ruling out the possibility that it was just his father in a motion capture suit. I'm a huge fan of director Joe Cornish and have loved his work from his cuddly toy blockbuster remakes on The Adam And Joe Show to his criminally underrated debut Attack The Block. As I write this now, The Kid Who Would Be King has sadly bombed at the box-office but I can honestly say that I don't care. I got to see it and love it and we're all going to be dead soon anyway. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.

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