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Published September 8th 2020
Four kids, a Psammead & an evil villain, what could go wrong
Four Kids and It is a film for the whole family. Heading on a holiday with their parents to Cornwall, each set of siblings; Ros (Teddie Malleson-Allen) and her younger brother, Robbie (Billy Jenkins) and Smash (Ashley Aufderheide) and her younger sister Maudie (Ellie-Mae Siame) learn that this is, in fact, a bonding trip with their potential future step-siblings. Chaos ensues for their parents David (Matthew Goode) and Alice (Paula Patton), until a little magic comes into their lives.
During an argument, the kids accidentally find a Psammead (voice of Michael Caine), a magical creature that lives below the sand at the beach, and 'It' has the power to grant wishes. Just one wish a day, and it comes with consequences. The kids have to learn to work together and be clever to get the most out of their wishes. What would an adventure be without an evil villain (Russell Brand) who wants to steal the Psammead for himself?
This film will be in cinemas nationally on 24 September 2020 and in Brisbane on 17 September. Victoria TBC. Running time is 110 minutes and it is rated PG.
Inspired by Five Children and It the turn-of-the-century children's classic by English author E. Nesbit, this film was adapted for the screen from Jacqueline Wilson's 2012 bestseller Four Children and It by screenwriter Simon Lewis.
The kids are the stars of the film as they are in just about every scene. They couldn't have been more authentic and natural as they imbue their characters with all the traits their screen personality requires, to make it believable. They do say never to act with animals and children, and these kids are brilliant and handle expressing the emotions of heartache and more, like pros. The nuances and facial expressions they project, don't miss a beat!
Teddie Malleson-Allen as Ros is no stranger to film. She attracted attention in the UK for her work in the children's film Swallows and Amazons. Her onscreen counterpoint Ashley Aufderheide as Smash, made her film debut in Infinitely Polar Bear with Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana. Ros' on-screen younger brother Robbie (Billy Jenkins) most recently played the young Prince Charles in The Crown and Ellie-Mae Siame as Maudie is a newcomer but holds her end up pretty well for a young-un.
Matthew Goode as Ros and Robbie's dad David is a familiar face and I loved him best in the rom-com Leap Year with none other than Superman's love interest Amy Adams. Paula Patton as Smash and Maudie's mum Alice is from none other than Mission Impossible royalty; best known for her starring turn opposite Tom Cruise in MI4. However, this film was all about the kids and they do well to practically carry the whole film on their own.
Knowing the icon of screen Michael Caine so well, it was rather confronting to hear his voice coming out of the ancient Psammead. With such a distinct voice, this is one film that won't leave you guessing whose voice was used for the creature of the sand. Russel Brand as the villain does ham it up a little and is out of sorts with an aspect of Englishness that's as faded and dilapidated as his mansion. Time travel in the film was touched on, but I felt it unnecessary for the film to be complete. However, it did no harm. This is one the whole family can enjoy.