6.4/10
8,168
37 user 33 critic

Message from the King (2016)

A mysterious outsider from South Africa, named Jacob King, arrives in Los Angeles to avenge his younger sister's death.

Director:

Fabrice du Welz
Reviews
Popularity
3,414 ( 246)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chadwick Boseman ... Jacob King
Luke Evans ... Wentworth
Alfred Molina ... Preston
Teresa Palmer ... Kelly
Arthur Darbinyan ... Duc
Lucan Melkonian ... Zico
Diego Josef ... Armand
James Jordan ... Scott
Roman Mitichyan ... Vrioni
Ava Kolker ... Boot
Drew Powell ... Merrick
Jonno Roberts ... Rice
Max Daniels ... Piotr
Natalie Martinez ... Trish
Chris Mulkey ... Leary
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Storyline

After suddenly losing all contact with his younger sister, Jacob King arrives in Los Angeles determined to track her down. Trying to piece together her last known movements, King finds unsettling evidence of a life gone off the rails - drugs, sex and secrets in the sleazy underbelly of the City of Angels. Undeterred by warnings to go home, King proves to be more than a match for the violence he is confronted with as he relentlessly pursues the truth about what happened to his sister.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brutal violence, grisly images, strong sexual content/nudity, language throughout and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | Belgium | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 August 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

King: Uma História de Vingança See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Backup Media,Canal+,Ciné+ See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In addition to the video game "Payday 2" being explicitly featured in this movie, the game and the movie share some themes beyond organized crime and gratuitous violence, such as an important character who is a dentist but not only such. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Woman: [on voice message, crying] Jacob, it's Bianca. I'm in trouble. I need your help, please. I have something they want. Jacob, I don't know what to do. Please, call me.
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Connections

References The Limey (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The message got through. The hard way.
31 October 2017 | by peterp-450-298716See all my reviews

"It's Bianca. She's got a brother. He's in town, says he has what we've been looking for. He's out of control, Mike. You told me Bianca was not a problem anymore. Bianca isn't a problem anymore. I'm afraid that's his problem."

Those who imagine the Los Angeles metropolis to be idealistically beautiful, they should adjust that view after watching "Message from the King". The less beautiful part of Los Angeles is used here. An impoverished neighborhood where the vast majority of residents live in poverty and where crime and drugs are an obvious part of society. Ash gray ghettos full of human suffering. And that's being emphasized by drizzly weather. The crowded mortuary is a reflection of these fading slums. A collection of nobodies who died because of an overdose, madness (drowned in a bathtub as an imaginary fish) and gang violence.

This is what Jacob King (Chadwick Boseman) faces when he arrives in L.A. The reason why he's staying in the city of angels is the sudden disappearance of his younger sister Bianca (Sibongile Mlambo). Soon he discovers the sore situation his sister got herself into and what it did to her : she earned a spot in the mortuary with a name tag on her big toe. The search for the murderers of his younger sister brings him in touch with all kind of figures. Trish (Natalie Martinez) the loyal neighbor points him in the right direction after which he meets a violent gang of Balkan criminals run by a certain Zico (Lucan Melkonian). Then there's the rich dentist Wentworth (Luke Evans) and the wealthy movie producer Preston (Alfred Molina). And let me tell you. Some of them are getting to know the bicycle chain he just bought, in a less pleasant way.

For Jacob, these L.A. neighborhoods probably still look like charming neighborhoods compared to where he comes from. His sister Bianca, his deceased brother Isaac and Jacob himself, lived the largest part of their life in South Africa in the Cape Flat townships, a sandy area south of Cape Town and better known as "Apartheid's dumping ground". A dilapidated community where gangs rule. Both in the slums and in prison. Such as "The Number Gangs". Isaac was a member of this notorious gang, until his death. Reason enough for Bianca to turn her back on her home country and to seek salvation in the United States.

You could say this movie is a cheaper version of "The Equalizer" with Boseman having an equal personality as Denzel Washington. A cold-blooded but alert person who has control over his violent eruptions and who accurately follows the traces to solve the criminal puzzle in the end. However, the ultimate motive remains quite mysterious. Perhaps the only minus I could find in this hard-core, ultra-dark movie. In fact, it's an ordinary revenge film that differs slightly from others because of its quirky atmosphere and tone. And afterwards I discovered the film was directed by a fellow countryman : Fabrice du Welz. Maybe that's why this movie displays a kind of willfulness.

Even though this action-flick is soaked by cliché elements (corrupt policemen, a cunning politician and a prostitute (Teresa "Lights Out" Palmer) who plays the Good Samaritan), you can speak of a stylish end product. No explicit violence scenes (the result is usually more explicit than the action itself) and a few star-like interpretations like that of Teresa Palmer. But especially Chadwick Boseman impressed. A man with few words, but hard negotiating techniques. From the very first instance, I was fascinated by him. In my opinion, this is yet again a rough diamond that simmers on Netflix undiscovered. Don't let anybody stop you from watching this when you bump into it somewhere, because this will surely surprise you.

More reviews here : http://movie-freak.be


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