Sunday, November 9, 2008

King of New York

If you want to see a really gritty, violent, and profane New York movie -- plus yet another film where Christopher Walken acts memorably crazy -- then you must see Abel Ferrara's King of New York.

Released in 1990, it's a brutal look at the drug trade in late 1980s NYC. Walken plays Frank White, a drug lord who just got out of prison and who returns to NYC to wipe out his competition and share his drugs profits with the poor and sick.

This movie not only has Walken as the star but also features (as he was known then) Larry Fishburne, David Caruso, Steve Buscemi, and Wesley Snipes in supporting roles.

While it's not a great movie, King of New York is a real New York movie. You get a visceral feeling for the dangerous streets and pace of life in this city, and you really feel what it's like to go into the back alleys, the low-rise buildings, and the dirty subways. This is not some souped-up, Hollywood version of NYC, this is brutal truth.

Also, this movie was bravely ahead of its time, boldly declaring long before movies like Traffic and shows like The Wire that the drug war was a stupid idea and miserable failure.

Check out King of New York, you won't forget it anytime soon.

1 comment:

Please keep it civil, intelligent, and expletive-free. Otherwise, opine away.