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King of New York (1990)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 20,732 users  
Reviews: 119 user | 64 critic

A former drug lord returns from prison determined to wipe out all his competition and distribute the profits of his operations to New York's poor and lower classes in this stylish and ultra violent modern twist on Robin Hood.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jimmy Jump (as Larry Fishburne)
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Janet Julian ...
Joey Chin ...
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Raye
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Blood (as Leonard Lee Thomas)
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Tanner (as Roger Smith)
Carrie Nygren ...
Melanie
Ernest Abuba ...
King Tito
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Storyline

A former drug lord returns from prison determined to wipe out all his competition and distribute the profits of his operations to the city's poor in this stylish and ultraviolent modern twist on Robin Hood. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Not everyone who runs a city is elected. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

28 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El rey de New York  »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,554,476 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed from 19 April 1989 to 14 June 1989, and shown in France in July 1990, but not given a wide release until September 1990. See more »

Goofs

After Emilio Zappa is assassinated in the phone booth, one gunman holds a newspaper under the deceased Zappa's face. The Headline reads "Frank White released from Prison" but the article's body below that headline is completely unrelated. See more »

Quotes

Frank White: How come you never came to see me?
Jump: Who wanted to see you in a cage, man?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fresh Bait (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Concierto for Violin OP. 8# Autumn
Antonio Vivaldi
Arranged by Joe Delia
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Style Over Substance
13 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a strange movie. The IMDb trivia notes for the movie state that the director and writer spent five years working on the script, yet the story is disjointed and doesn't have a strong plot. The story basically follows the life of drug kingpin Frank White (Christopher Walken) after he is released from prison and re-enters the criminal world to reclaim his drug empire. However, there's not much character development and many of the characters are one dimensional. And the movie could be called over-stylized.

Yet, somehow it all works and this movie, while not a classic, could be considered a cult classic for its great cinematography, superb acting performances, tense action sequences, its cinematic risk taking and its outright coolness. For a movie shot in the late 80's (released in 1990) its ahead of its time.

Christopher Walken gives a great performance as Frank White. Many viewers who may only know Walken from his more recent appearances as "the weird but cool guy" will be surprised by the multifaceted performance he gives here. The late Victor Argo's performance as White's nemesis on the police force, Roy Bishop, should also be noted. Argo gives a note perfect, yet nuanced portrayal, of a weary, "seen it all" cop who is determined to get his man.

Wesley Snipes and Laurence Fishburne were still early in their film careers while appearing in this movie, but you can clearly see the qualities that would make them stars. Both bring depth and realism to their otherwise stock characters. David Caruso also does a great job with his character. One of the shortcomings of the movie is that there's no strong female lead... Frank White has a relationship with one of his attorney's, Jennifer (Janet Julian), but the script leaves out a lot of details (e.g., why they are together in the first place). In fact, all the women in this movie look like models which only adds to the stylized unreality the movie creates.

Finally, I have to mention the oldschool rap soundtrack which fits the proceedings to a "t".

If you are a fan of crime/action movies, "King of New York" comes recommended, but fair warning, its not your typical gangsta flick.


25 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Am I the only one... shawnevans666
King of New York better than Scarface?? azn_pryde15
‘Come by the Plaza Hotel, I got work for you'' matmatmat589
I can't believe how bad this movie was. SteDevote
Favorite character mike_dirnt19
Roy Bishop Paris179
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