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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 9.09%
Average: 27.27%
Pretty Bad: 9.09%
Total Crap: 4.55%

1 review, 16 user ratings

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King of New York
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by iF Magazine

"A quick, generic action fix."
3 stars

In a film that spawned many a talent, director Abel Ferrara obviously could see a star from a mile away. In KING OF NEW YORK, a film now considered a cult classic and originally released 10 years ago and now available on video and DVD, Ferrara cast, besides Christopher Walken, David Caruso pre-NYPD, Wesley Snipes pre-anything and Larry, yes Larry, Fishburne before he wisely asked to be called Laurence.

The question is, does a talented cast make a great film? Well, maybe not a great one but certainly a satisfactory one. Walken plays drug lord Frank White who recently was released from prison. White tries to regain control of his reigns on New York City by eliminating all his enemies and taking back what was taken from him, including his high priced lawyer/girlfriend. The problem is the cops (Caruso, Snipes) are watching him like hawks, expecting Frank to mess up again, and they canít wait until he does so they can put him back where he belongs Ė in prison.

But White is smarter then they think and proves to be harder to nail than a three-sided screw. The battle between the cops and White turns personal and the whole city becomes their war grounds while the cops fight to get rid of White who takes a contract out on anyone who tries to stand in his way.

Sound all too familiar? It is. Played out like a cop story youíve seen many a time in different variations, KING is formulaic action/adventure in the world of the drug lords fighting over territory. It is obvious that even director Ferrara knows this when he chooses not to explain certain relationships White had with his fellow drug lords that cause White, once out of prison, to kill a great number of his past associates. It is to be understood that something had gone very, very wrong with these gentlemen and White as if Ferrara is saying, ďRemember when youíve seen that before in other drug lord movies? Well thatís whatís happening here so I donít have to explain.Ē

Without an explanation, the film is without feeling. Itís like going through the emotions without any sense of urgency, backing or interest. On the other hand if you are into this genre, donít really care much about originality and have limited expectations for your living room screenings than this might suffice your appetite for those of you who are desperate action film junkies who need a quick generic fix. -- Pamela Harland

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originally posted: 02/25/01 13:41:19
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 CineVegas Film Festival For more in the 2005 CineVegas Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

5/23/08 alvin i wouldn't quite call this a masterpiece, more...a classic. but even so, this was BADDDASS! 5 stars
7/31/07 Rob J Walken plays a walking- dead crime lord from Hell. Unfairly overlooked masterpiece. 5 stars
5/19/07 eddy wow 5 stars
8/25/06 magaafi stylish shit if (spoiler) it didnt turn out the way it did this wuda bin fukin gr8 5 stars
6/13/06 CTT So sleazy, it fails to entertain 2 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby Preposterous Ferrara jerk-off. Walken is sleepwalking here, people. 2 stars
4/23/02 larry F. this movie kicks your ass 5 stars
3/17/02 pickles Walken MAKES this film!! Who else could play the role with such stoney faced pizazz!!! 5 stars
12/02/01 The Bomb 69 Walken is his usual awesome self, the rest was okay 4 stars
9/13/01 Butterbean This is not just another gangsta flick! This is a highly underrated movie 5 stars
6/15/01 Sam Walken and Fishburne are great. The movie is kind of under-written, but it aint bad. 4 stars
5/23/01 dan the man great bc its so fucking violent 5 stars
4/18/01 Anthony Savarese Great film for the time 5 stars
3/30/01 robert bogdany. a cool film man 5 stars
2/26/01 Kimberley Selby I loved it, and I'm not that big of an action fan. 5 stars
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  02-Dec-1990 (R)
  DVD: 20-Apr-2004



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