The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)
The Kid Who Would Be King looked to be just another January release that would come and go with little to no conversation or impact, but then tons of people started to talk about this movie and claim it to be a hidden gem in the same way the Paddington films were. I felt like if I didn't see this movie I would in some way be missing out, but after seeing the film I really just don't see what all the hype is about That's not to say that this film is terrible. There are some legitimately clever moments and when this movie plays into those elements (such as turning their school into a battlefield) I couldn't help but get sucked into this film as a genuinely good time. The acting is also pretty solid especially for being mostly kids, I mean there is no Jacob Tremblay here but Louis Ashbourne Serkis is far above most actors at his age.
I also think as a kids movie this one will speak to plenty of its targeted demographic. It has basic morals and a simple enough story structure to follow along and seeing these kids go on this adventure will provide plenty of thrills to young kids that will keep them fully entertained (And there is nothing wrong with a movie just being this). Yet I really don't get all those saying that this film goes above and beyond a kids movie and has something for all viewers. This movie has no sense of subtleness or ambiguity, at every point in the plot I would know where we were going and no plot point really shocked me. This is a movie that will introduce some element or plot point and focus on it in a way where you knew it would be brought back up again, instead of forgetting about it and it having an impact when it comes back later in the movie I was just constantly waiting for their obvious return.
The message is also extremely basic and general, again as a kids movie plot it is fine but if you are above middle school I just don't see how this movie will hit you. It's "inspiring" message is so average and basic that it fails to stand out to the other thousands of films trying to say the exact same thing and definitely failed to leave an impression on me. The technical aspects of this film also did nothing special for me, where the cgi isnt awful it is far from great. I never believed any of the special effects (especially the fire) was ever really there. The sets also looked really average, clearly, there were real life physical set pieces set in a computer-generated world like in movies such as 2016's The Jungle Book. The difference here is that the quality is never high enough to suspend my disbelief, it always looks like special effects rather than an actual world. The score also really bothered me and felt extremely out of place.
At the end of the day The Kid Who Would Be King is nothing terrible, in fact I think as a kids movie it is surprisingly good and goes above and beyond the average film aimed at the grade level. If you are an adult though I can't see any reason why you would need to rush to the theater to see this film.