105 Must See Films, Uncategorized

105 Must See Films: King Of New York (1990)


Starring: Christopher Walken,

Director: Abel Ferrara

A drug dealing king pin is released from prison, and starts to take back his empire in New York, giving away a lot of the money to help the poor and keep an important hospital open. But not everyone is happy with his return, and he has to face off enemies on both sides of the law.

Directed by Ferarra who would go on to make films like Bad Lieutenant, the film is violent, often awkward and unusual, which gained it a cult following.

Why Is It A Must See Film? I feel like this film really divides people, I guess that some people just don’t get it. But it’s violence and the strong performances, make it entertaining viewing. And who doesn’t love Walken?

At heart, the film is about a man who is willing to break the law to help people. He treats his gang members with respect, he treats women well, and only peddles drugs because it makes people happy, and there’s a market for it. In his mind, his actions are noble, and he only retaliates when he has to. The cops hate him, and are willing to break the law to stop him, and the gangs whose territory he’s encroaching on are all up to really bad things. There’s a kind of city logic to this that I think is both appealing and unusual. The film has been compared to Robin Hood, and I think it gives it’s leads a place to play out characters that are not their usual fare. Walken as a hero, Snipes as a corrupt cop, Fishburn as a drug using gangster. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but it is a really interesting film about New York and has it’s own cult following.

See It If: you’d love to see Fishburne play a gangsta and Christopher Walken as Robin Hood. It’s fairly entertaining, though feels a little long.


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