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Junior film review: Justin and the Knights of Valour

This noble family film follows a young boy's quest to fulfil his destiny to become a knight




Justin and the Knights of Valour
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His name might not instantly conjure up images of nobility and bravery but, despite being no Sir Galahad, copper-top redhead Justin still has plenty of fire in his belly and true grit in his blood. In fact, he yearns to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and rekindle the family tradition of knightly pursuits that have been spurned by his father, who has instead become a stuffy lawyer, and is keen for his son to follow suit. The only suit our young hero has on his mind, however, is one of armoured plating, so – with the encouragement of his doting grandmother – Justin sets out to complete his knight training, to reclaim his grandfather's sword, and reinstate the knightly tradtions that have been missing from village life.

This is a gentle and affectionate knight's tale, with Justin (voiced by Freddie Highmore) an appealing little fella in the ilk of Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon. The film also explores the tricky intricacies of the father-son relationship, with a strong message that it's good to follow your heart and your dreams. There's a light love interest where our hero must learn that his true soul mate is not the haughty princess Lara he's smitten with (Tamsin Egerton) but the feisty barmaid-cum-kickass warrior, Talia (Saoirse Ronan). With a host of well-loved British voice talent (Julie Walters, David Walliams, Rupert Everett), as well as producer Antonio Banderas lending his comic talent for the buffon-like Sir Clorex, there's plenty of comic moments as Justin earns his stripes in battle against a mechanically-enhanced dragon before doing battle with evil adversary, Sir Heraclio (voiced by a suitably menacing Mark Strong). A mild and uplifting adventure, with an ultimately happy ending to make you smile.

Justin And The Knights Of Valour is in cinemas from September 13.

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