A drug kingpin is released from prison and seeks to take total control of the criminal underworld in order to give back to the community.A drug kingpin is released from prison and seeks to take total control of the criminal underworld in order to give back to the community.A drug kingpin is released from prison and seeks to take total control of the criminal underworld in order to give back to the community.
King of New York(1990) is a modern reworking of the Robin Hood legend. Its basically about a former drug lord who wants to use drug money to help poor and unfortunate people. Christopher Walken gives one of his five top best performances in the role of Frank. The feature is a neo noir because there are no people except for a couple that are likable.
The violence in this film is very brutal and done with plenty of flair. Frank's plans do not work out as everyone is out to get him(espically the police). Frank is a person who's alive on the outside but dead on the inside. King of New York has been compared to Scarface(1983) but I believe that this movie is closer in spirit to Ringo Lam's City on Fire(1987) and the two Chow Yun Fat/Andy Lau films of Rich & Famous(1986) and Tragic Hero(1987).
Laurence Fishburne gives a very good performance as Frank's loyal right hand man. In fact, all of the action sequences involving him makes the actor the Hollywood B-movie eqevulent of Chow Yun Fat with his two gun act. Steve Buscemi has a bit part as a rival drug dealer. I only wished that the idea of putting a contract on the police was expanded on with a few scenes of many police officers being assassinated by Frank's men.
One scene that is terrific is the scene where the police dressed up as drug dealers who raid and try to terminate Frank and his gang. Another excellent scene is the funeral sequence. The ending is unusually low key for a mafia flick. I would like to see a director's cut of this film released on video because I feel that something's missing from the R-rated version.
- Sep 13, 2000