7.0/10
24,759
121 user 70 critic

King of New York (1990)

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

After completing a lengthy prison sentence, one-time drug kingpin Frank White returns to New York intent on reestablishing his empire and making things as they were before he left. Others of course have taken over the business during his absence but that clearly isn't going to stop White. While he is gunning down the opposition, he decides he's going to give away the money he'll make to modernize the hospital in his old neighborhood. Drug dealers aren't the only thing he has to worry about however: a group of rogue cops decide they are going to take him down. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

28 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El rey de New York  »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,554,476 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot in 40 days without the crew having to spend more than a day on each location. See more »

Goofs

During the car chase, the damage on the cop car's rear passenger side door appears and disappears several times. See more »

Quotes

Roy Bishop: Who made you judge and jury.
Frank White: It's a tough job but someone's got to do it.
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Soundtracks

Am I Black Enough For You?
Written and Performed by Schooly-D (as Schooly D)
Courtesy of Jive Records
Published by Willesden Music Inc.
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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.


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