Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Christopher Walken, Larry Fishburne, David Caruso, Wesley Snipes, Victor Argo, Steve Buscemi, Giancarlo Esposito
Written by: Nicholas St. John
Directed by: Abel Ferrara
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 103
Date: 07/18/1990
IMDB

King of New York (1990)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

White City

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Maverick director Abel Ferrara is perhaps best known for his stories ofpsychotic loners and their journeys of self-discovery (Ms. 45, BadLieutenant, The Addiction, etc.), but he's equally adept atunderworld ensemble pieces, especially having to do with the connectingand crumbling of family. The often-overlooked King of New York (1990)is the best of these. Christopher Walken stars in a powerhouseperformance as Frank White, a gangster newly released from jail whoattempts to make a new life for himself not only by organizing allstreet crime, but also by donating money to hospitals and becoming arespectable (and electable) citizen. Frank surrounds himself with womenbodyguards and black gangsters, such as a swaggering, volatile thugplayed by Larry Fishburne. David Caruso leads a team of desperate,frustrated cops who find they can arrest Walken, but can't control hislawyers. Ferrara's dangerous vision of the city at night goes beyondwhat most creampuff directors are capable of; he gets to the core ofeverything from the silent, dark windows of towering penthouses to thevicious rattling of crime-ridden subways. A huge band of up-and-comersfleshes out the superb cast, including Wesley Snipes, Victor Argo, SteveBuscemi and Giancarlo Esposito. Ferrara's usual collaborator NicholasSt. John scripted.

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