If I'm honest, when I first saw the trailer for this one, I was more or less expecting a Nickelodeon-type, damn near Disney Channel-like movie. Think something along the lines of a 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' meets 'The Sword in the Stone' (the animated Disney version). But I'm actually happy to say that it ended up being more Disney's 'Sword in the Stone' combined with something like 'Moone Boy'. For those unfamiliar with 'Moone Boy', here's this.
Anyway, upon realizing that this was written and directed by Joe Cornish (writer of titles like 'Attack the Block', 'The Adventures of Tin Tin' and 'Ant-Man'), it was a fairly easy sell. And I'll be damned if I didn't actually enjoy myself quite a bit upon seeing it.
Here we meet two boys by the names of Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis [yes, Andy Serkis' son]) and Bedders (Dean Chaumoo). The two are your typical victims of bullying from Lance (Tom Tyler) and Kaye (Rhianna Dorris) - and yes, it's fairly easy to see where the names are going here. One day, while on the run, Alex stumbles into a construction sight, where he finds a sword and pulls it out of its stone. This of course will eventually turn him into the "chosen-one" character.
A new, strange boy comes to the school, who we soon learn is Merlin (Angus Imrie/Patrick Stewart), who has traveled into the mortal world to help Alex with the upcoming war between mortals, and the forces of the evil sorceress, Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson). And oh yes, this means Alex has to rise to the occasion and fight off a whole bunch of demons and whatnot and... I mean, I'm not gonna lie, I thought this was the perfect new take on an epic kid's fantasy adventure.
It's by no means perfect, but just for the fun and fantasy of it all, it's really quite enjoyable. The only thing that really got to me was how some of the magic was done' involving a lot of fairly annoying finger-snapping and clapping. But that's just a nitpick on my part. It otherwise hit me just like 'This is the End' did, in that I was expecting something much more low-budget, and it shows, not the least of which in its creature effects.
It's a PG-rated movie that has the potential to scare little kids with how some of these demons and creatures look. On top of that, the action involved is actually quite fun. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be a very healthy box office draw, because as I said in the beginning, it really does strike you as a Nickelodeon/Disney Channel movie when you watch the trailer. It also doesn't help that it's sandwiched between the trilogy sequel of 'Glass' and surefire family success, 'The LEGO Movie 2', either.
So, while parts of the story admittedly lack a bit, I still got pleasantly surprised by this movie. As I said, it's not perfect, but there was definitely something enjoyable about it, and I encourage people to give it a chance. At the end of the day, it's just a fun, feel-good movie that might take you back to what it was like watching movies like 'The Goonies'.