HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Unsane
Smithereens
Last Warrior, The
Artemis 81
Rampage
Quiet Place, A
Braven
Changeover, The
Isle of Dogs
Funny Cow
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Mad to Be Normal
Beast of Burden
Dead Men Walk
Game Night
Under the Tree
L'Amant Double
Gonin
Coco
Producers, The
Molly's Game
Forest of the Lost Souls, The
Hatchet III
Birdman of Alcatraz
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Wonderstruck
If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck
Nun, The
Red Sparrow
My Friend Dahmer
   
 
Newest Articles
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
The Ultimate Trip: The Original Psychedelic Movies
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
   
 
  Message from the King Royal RumbleBuy this film here.
Year: 2016
Director: Fabrice du Welz
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Luke Evans, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer, Natalie Martinez, Arthur Darbinyan, Lucan Melkonian, Diego Josef, James Jordan, Roman Ava Kolker, Drew Powell, Tom Felton, Chris Mulkey, Wade Williams, Dale Dickey
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jacob King (Chadwick Boseman) has travelled from Cape Town in South Africa to Los Angeles in the United States, and on arrival at customs the authorities are sceptical about his motives for being there, accusing him of trying to be an illegal immigrant who could, for example, take a taxi driving job in New York without bothering with the proper channels. However, Jacob is insistent that he is purely there for a holiday, and with nothing to hold him on he is allowed to go on his way, promising them he will only be in the country for one week. He will stay true to his word, for he really is not there for work - he is there to find out what happened to his sister, who has disappeared in the city.

Message to the King was essentially a detective yarn only the man seeking to get to the heart of the mystery did not bother with any middle men like a private eye, he took matters into his own hands and tracked down his sister himself. In that way this was less Philip Marlowe, or Shaft either, and more akin to something like George C. Scott in Hardcore back in the nineteen-seventies where the hero must pick his way through an underworld of lowlifes to reach the truth, that the object of his search was corrupted by those self-same lowlifes, though in this case it is recommended early on to Jacob that he try the morgue before he goes around asking more questions, which he does.

What he finds shocks him, as his sister is indeed there in a body bag, her head caved in - he recognises her from her tattoo, but he does not identify her corpse so he can continue his investigation, which has now become a drive for vengeance. This sounds like a setup for a tense thriller, maybe with a smattering of action included, and you had the impression this was what director Fabrice du Welz had in mind, but something was off with his pacing, as the tone was more morose and self-pitying than it needed to be. Certainly the young woman's death was a tragedy, and Jacob exhibited a grim determination to get even, but this was a curiously drab experience.

Not helping was that we had seen all this before, for a number of decades in fact, on film and television and quite a few books into the bargain, and the addition of an African seeker after the truth was not quite enough to lift it out of the routine. There were flashes of interest when our protagonist sprung into action, usually by inflicting violence on those who appeared to have information which could have been useful, but for the greater percentage of the plot, he was moping about meeting dodgy geezers and the women who are their victims. One such woman was Kelly (Teresa Palmer), who at least generated a degree of chemistry between her and Boseman as his character took a paternal interest in looking after her and her young daughter; she lives in the rundown hotel where he has temporarily settled.

And she works as a prostitute, the theme of powerful men taking awful advantage of the vulnerable underlined when we see Jacob getting his own back on them as a representative of the downtrodden. Among those powerful men was millionaire dentist Luke Evans, who knew the sister and may have exploited her, and was a novel embodiment of all that entitlement though the film was merely content to use him as a stereotypical posh English villain rather than build on him to any amount of distinction. Alfred Molina was there too, a producer in the TV and movie realm who uses his influence to make sure no questions are asked when he adopts the young son of the sister's dead boyfriend to sexually abuse him under the belief he is doing the kid good by putting a roof over his head. You get the idea, Message to the King was speaking on a strata of life that most would not wish to think about, but this was perhaps not the right way to go about it, it was a little dull for all the sensational elements. At least Boseman got to try out his Black Panther accent. Music by Vincent Cahay.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 311 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Robert Segedy
Darren Jones
  Asma Amal
  Chris Lawrence
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: