When I was planning which film I was going to watch for this week’s TBT post, I decided to do something related to King Arthur. Although, my initial thought was just to review The Man Who Would Be King but I decided, as awesome as it would be to have an excuse to watch it, it didn’t make as much sense. So, the question was, which dire film version was it going to be? I don’t think I’m ready for the Guy Ritchie version and, only coming out in 2017, it didn’t feel like too much of a throwback. Then there was the 2004 Clive Owen “classic”. Oh god no. So, I decided to do the only thing I could think of and watch The Sword in the Stone. It’s a great Disney film that I haven’t seen in years. Only problem? I couldn’t find a copy and Amazon Prime wasn’t offering me a decent deal. So, my choice? The only King Arthur film that Prime would give me for free. Hey, it might not be the best way to decide but it’s still a valid way to pick a film if you ask me. Plus, I love reviewing films that I’ve never watched before. So, random film from 1988 that I’d never heard of before, let’s do this.
Turns out The Excalibur Kid is kind of similar to The Kid Who Would Be King so it turned out to be quite an advantageous pick. Zach is a teenager who is weirdly obsessed with the legend of King Arthur. He’s super into swords and wishes he could have been born in medieval times. Especially, once his family announce that they are moving. So, Zach must feel pretty lucky when he’s transported back to medieval England by the evil sorceress Morgause. Morgause changes fate so that Zach, and not Arthur, pulls the sword from the stone. She intends to get Zach crowned king before taking the throne for herself. Can Zach, with the help of Merlin, convince Arthur that he is the true king and change things back to the way they were meant to be?
I thin everyone who criticised The King Who Would Be King should watch this film so they can see just how bad it could have been. Tho say this film is bad is a huge understatement. The Excalibur Kid really doesn’t try very hard to do anything right. King Arthur doesn’t have an English accent for fuck’s sake! Everyone’s bloody Canadian! How are we meant to believe this is medieval England? And I know it was the late 90s so, technologically, things were difficult but it’s all just so bad. I think it’s best we side-step the voice dubbing because it’s super cringe but let’s quickly talk about the special effects. Merlin turns into a wide variety of animals and I’m sure the effects were no better than on the TV shows of my childhood. Although, I guess assuming this thing had any kind of budget would be a mistake.
Really, I don’t see the point of this film. The story doesn’t make much sense and the ending is so ridiculous. The writer clearly just tied themselves in knots so had to find the first way they could to resolve everything. None of this makes sense. Merlin is supposed to be able to see into the future but this only comes into play when it needs to. The evil sorceress is all-powerful one minute and then powerless the next. Nobody ever seems concerned that a kid with a strange accent who uses weird words is about to be made King of England.
This film is boring, slow, and completely stupid. It’s not even funny in a “so bad it makes you laugh” kind of way. I just watched this and waited for it to end. I know we all get nostalgic about the films of our youth but I remember 90s films being better than this. Did nobody care about what they were creating 20 years ago?
Who is Murdocal? A casual critic who is a little bit too obsessed with pop culture. A young woman who swears and rants much more than she knows she should whilst trying to make her way in an adult world she isn't prepared for. A not as recent as she'd like literature graduate who, between job applications and subsequent rejections, has turned to the internet to fight the boredom and review the shit out of everything.
"Maybe, just maybe, I'm the faller. Every family has someone who falls, who doesn't make the grade, who stumbles, who life trips up. Maybe I'm our faller."