King Of New York: Live By The Sword Die By The Sword

King Of New York is a neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Abel Ferrara. The plot sees infamous mob figure Frank White (Christopher Walken), released from prison and then set about taking his city back only to become targeted by a band of corrupt police officers.

For those of you who like gangster films, this is a work of art. It is very much in line with something like Cronenberg’s Eastern Promise as this is more of a thinky gangster film rather than just a senseless shoot em up, though there are plenty of those sort of scenes.

The inner dialogue that begs the question are men like White inevitable? Are they representative of the city, a by product in some sort of way? These questions prove fascinating as we break down Frank as a person and see how it is that he is the King of New York’s underworld.

The violence in the film feels bold and punchy, it strikes you as real and visceral and leaves a mark. In this regard Lawrence Fishburne’s Jimmy steals the show. Jimmy is unhinged throughout the film, but his night time fight with corrupt police might be his best and most unhinged moment. I think this is a career best performance for Fishburne and it makes me want to explore more of his back catalogue.

Overall, a very grisly and effecting crime tail and leaves you shocked and horrified but also with a few pertinent questions in mind.




The violence

The psychology

The noir like feel of the film




Reviewed by Luke   

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