Monday, August 7, 2017

Message From the King Netflix Movie Review

Message From the King (2017)
Watch Message From the King on Netflix
Written by:  Oliver Butcher, Stephen Cornwell
Directed by: Fabrice du Welz
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Luke Evans, Teresa Palmer, Alfred Molina, Tom Felton
Rated: R

A South African man travels to Los Angeles to avenge his younger sister's death, uncovering the seedy underbelly of the city.

This is a genre inundated with good and bad entries, and this movie doesn't try to do anything differently. The fighting is completely lackluster, and the plot is mindless even for a revenge movie. There are so many better options if you want a revenge movie, I mention half a dozen below.
Skip it.

This doesn't do anything new, though I've never seen a bike chain in a fight. I thought the bike chain was a sign of things to come, but it ended up being the pinnacle of the movie early on.

This lays the foundation of Jacob King (Chadwick Boseman) traveling to L.A. in search of his sister. He picks up various clues trying to track her down. I was hoping for non-stop action, but it never really manifests. The first fight with a bike chain is the best. This is average, content to cycle the same tired scenes we've seen before. We get a sympathetic neighbor trying to make ends meet, King beaten within an inch of his life and left in the gutter, and a happy ending that doesn't track. There's a small twist with what King's occupation is, but it's not a game changer.

Revenge movies are prevalent. This shares more similarities than just the L.A. setting with the The Limey (1999) (read my review), where Terrence Stamp is the man set on revenge. You could go the English route with Michael Caine in Harry Brown (2009).

Message from the King could have been salvaged somewhat if the fights were even mildly interesting, they aren't. One of the best of the recent revenge movie is Taken (2008), creating a resurgence in the genre that was founded by  Death Wish (1974). Korean revenge movies are their own genre a martial arts style of fighting that is almost always satisfying. The Man from Nowhere (2010) is the most similar to this, and it did a much better job setting up the link to the neighbor.Oldeuboi (2003) might be the most recognizable Korean revenge movie with one heck of a twist.

A really unique revenge tale that tries and succeeds in doing something different is Blue Ruin (2013) (read my review). This bucks the trend of the super human revenge machine with a main character that has no business even attempting revenge.

I mention all these other revenge movie to say that you'd be much better off watching them instead of Message from the King.

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