The Kid Who Would Be King (2019)
Genre: Adventure
Director: Joe Cornish
Starring: Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Denis Gough, Dean Chaumoo, Tom Taylor
Duration: 120 minutes
Class: PG
KRS Releasing Ltd

British comedian, television and radio presenter Joe Cornish, who has co-written the scripts of The Adventures of Tin-Tin (2011) and Ant-Man (2015), returns to the childhood fantasy genre with The Kid Who Would Be King.

The plot follows an unassuming boy named Alex (Ashbourne Serkis) who stumbles upon King Arthur’s mythical sword Excalibur. He soon unites his friends and enemies and they become knights and join forces with the legendary wizard Merlin (Patrick Stewart). Together they must save mankind from the evil sorceress Morgana (Rebecca Ferguson) and her army of supernatural warriors.

The film garnered very good reviews. Peter Debruge of Variety likened the film to a Steven Spielberg movie. He wrote: “With its retro-video-game score and Goonies-style gang of misfitcharacters, the movie plays like a throwback to Spielberg-produced adventure films of the ’80s.”

Nick De Semlyen of Empire lauded the director, saying the film is “more proof Cornish is a wizard at re-energising tired tropes. The characters are a delight, the action sequences thrum with invention, and when it’s funny, it’s very funny indeed.”

And the critics’ consensus on Rotten Tomatoes reads: “The Kid Who Would Be King recalls classic all-ages adventures and repurposes a timeless legend ‒ for a thoroughly enjoyable new addition to the family movie canon.”

But families seemingly did not take heed. The film bombed at the box office with estimated losses for 20th Century Fox ranging as high as $50 million. The Kid Who Would Be King opened in the US on January 25 and in the UK on February 19.

IMDB: 6.3/10 
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
Empire: 4 stars

Cracking codes is the key to staying alive in Escape Room.Cracking codes is the key to staying alive in Escape Room.

Escape Room (2019)
Genre: Action, drama
Director: Adam Robitel
Starring: Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Jay Ellis, Tyler Labine, Nik Dodani
Duration: 99 minutes
Class: 15
KRS Releasing Ltd

Coming off the popularity of many an office team-building activity, Escape Room is a B-movie going for thrills and scares. 

The film introduces six key players: Zoey (Taylor Russell), Ben (Logan Miller), Danny (Nik Dodani), Amanda (Deborah Ann Woll), Mike (Tyler Labine) and Jason (Jay Ellis). All of them receive mysterious puzzle boxes which lead them to a large, isolated facility. They have been selected to play a new, highly-immersive Escape Room, with the first to win being awarded a hefty cash prize. 

As the level melts away, the players realise that the rooms have been designed specifically for each player, and failure to solve the puzzles in time would yield to some deadly consequences. 

Critics have largely panned Escape Room, with many citing the film’s failure to explore the full potential the concept could offer.

“You’ll see better horror movies this year,” writes David Fear of Rolling Stone. 

“Once the pattern is revealed and the film becomes more of a stuck-on-simmer conspiracy potboiler, the returns begin exponentially diminishing.”

Michael Ordona of Common Sense Media adds: “This horror film/thriller has its virtues, but it badly strains viewers’ suspension of disbelief and can’t avoid feeling like Saw with duller teeth. Predictable story beats and the movie’s extreme reliance on suspension of disbelief keep Escape Room from rising too high above the genre.”

John Defore, of The Hollywood Reporter, had a more positive viewing experience: 

“Despite the early threat of torture-porn, Escape Room is less sadistic than relentless, pausing only once to catch its breath and let our heroes spill enough of their secrets to make sense of things.”

“Though its final beats have an awfully familiar flavour, this is one time a fright-flick’s inevi­table promise to return doesn’t inspire groans.”

IMDB: 6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 47%
Empire: 2 stars

Liam Neeson lands another action movie role in Cold Pursuit.Liam Neeson lands another action movie role in Cold Pursuit.

Cold Pursuit (2019)
Genre: Action, drama
Director: Hans Petter Moland
Starring: Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Micheal Richardson, Michael Eklund, Tom Bateman, Wesley MacInnes
Duration: 119 minutes
Class: 15
KRS Releasing Ltd

Norwegian film-maker Hans Petter Moland is making his Hollywood debut with a remake of a dark comedy he himself directed, In Order of Disappearance, which was released in 2014.

The plot follows Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson), whose quiet life comes crashing down when his son dies under mysterious circumstances. His search for the truth soon becomes a quest for revenge against a psychotic drug lord named Viking (Tom Bateman) and his henchmen. 

The film received mostly good reviews. Courtney Howard of Variety wrote: “By pumping up the darkly comedic undertones, augmenting the frigid chill of the original, Moland's terrific, riveting noir-tinged picture distinguishes itself from other rote, reductive remakes.”

And Jeffrey M. Anderson of Common Sense Media commented: “This bloody, deceptive thriller starts out like yet another one of Neeson’s revenge movies, but it subtly switches into a very dark comedy that asks us to consider our various reactions to death.”

The film grossed $35 million since its release in the US on February 8.

IMDB: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Empire: 4 stars

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