King of New York is a 1990 American neo-noir gangster film. Nicholas St. John wrote the script, and Abel Ferrara was in charge of directing it. Christopher Walken plays a drug boss in New York City who just got out of prison and is trying to rebuild his crime business while also trying to stay straight. Continue reading the King of New York Movie Review to learn more about the film.
The script was pretty simple, and the characters didn’t have much depth, but we think Walken made the most of what he had to work with. The way he acts and the way his eyes look tell you a lot about him. Walken plays a man who has lived on the streets for a long time and has been through a lot. His time in prison changed the way he thought about his own death. This story doesn’t say how long he was in jail, but it seems like he was there for a long time. Once he’s back on the streets, his character seems more urgent, and it was very interesting to see how this part of his character changed as the cineb movie went on.
First off, this movie has an absolutely amazing cast. You can’t take your eyes off the screen as the opening credits roll, featuring names like Wesley Snipes, David Caruso, Steve Buscemi, Giancarlo Esposito, and Victor Argo, while Christopher Walken plays the title role of Frank White. If Walken is king, then Larry Fishburne is prince. He steals every scene as the cocky bad guy, Jimmy Jump. With a hat on his head, a thick gold chain around his neck, and matching gold teeth, Jimmy’s looks and attitude match exactly as he sets out to defeat White’s rivals in town to cement his boss’s top dog status.
Unlike his sidekick Jimmy, Frank White doesn’t look like a typical gangster, but don’t let his inch-high henchman fool you. Behind those cold eyes is a shrewd, cunning man who is always one step ahead of his enemies.
Bojan Bazelli’s cinematography was superb, and along with director Abel Ferrara, the duo produced an extremely aesthetically pleasing picture in subtle ways. It was cool, new, and dirty all at once. With Joe Delia’s music and score, it’s a complete package for the genre, and I think its raw tone was ahead of its time. There was a great mix of rap and hip-hop to set the time period and soft instrumental vocals to create a strange but effective mix. As the music changes between the characters and Frank White does some of his dirty criminal work in quieter scenes, the soft music playing in the background gives his character an air of elegance. Although there is some glorification of the crime, it also gives a radical feel to the whole story. When this movie came out, it made sense, and I think the direction of the story did a great job of showing how much of an influence the drug trade had on the neighborhood during the ’80s. In this film, you can feel the desperation of the police as they try to bring these crime syndicates to justice through the actors playing their characters.
Overall, King of New York’s long, moody tone and weak plot won’t appeal to everyone. But if you can get over it and enjoy the mood, it’s a stylish treat that looks great. Along with explosions of spontaneous but brutal violence, the acts go a long way in making the story impactful.