Thursday, August 17, 2017

Movie Review: "Message from the King" (2017)

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Movie"Message from the King"
Director: Fabrice du Welz
Year: 2017
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

A South African man comes to Los Angeles in search of his estranged sister, though circumstances eventually lead him down a path of violence and revenge.

"Message from the King" is a thriller directed by Fabrice du Welz and is written by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cromwell. It stars Chadwick Boseman as Jacob King, a South African man who has come to Los Angeles to find his sister Bianca, played by Sibongile Mlambo. He and Bianca were close as kids, but ever since she has moved to LA, she has been distant. Now, she has gone missing. As Jacob investigates, he learns that she has been mixed up with a bad crowd for a while. What he discovers leads him down a path of revenge against the criminals who have wronged his family. Joining Boseman is Teresa Palmer as Kelly, a mother/prostitute living next door; Luke Evans as Wentworth, a dentist Bianca went to see; Tom Felton as Frankie, Natalie Martinez as Trish, and Alfred Molina as Preston.

This is a pretty straightforward revenge thriller. It is reminiscent of something that would have come out in 70's, a modern day "Death Wish" neo-noir type of film. Movies like this have popped up every decade, and films about vigilante justice have very simple plots. Insert random badass who has been wronged by unsavory people and allow said badass to unleash fury upon them. What's not to love?

Chadwick Boseman plays the part of a killer vigilante extremely well. It's as if he was using this part to prepare for his upcoming film "Black Panther," and we don't mind it at all. Jacob King is slick, gruff, and not to be messed with under any circumstances. There is a bit of intrigue and mystery as he begins to uncover what happened to his sister. We slowly learn the events surrounding Bianca's disappearance are rather horrific. Jacob is fighting to avenge his sister, but we learn she isn't exactly a saint and was never just an innocent bystander. The thrills come often, as do the awesome fight scenes full of well-choreographed moves.

"Message from the King" has its fair share of raw, gritty moments. It deals with numerous unsettling situations that will make the audience uncomfortable. We certainly didn't expect it to get as dark as it does. The one drawback is its pacing, which can be very slow at times. Otherwise, this is an engaging film with an excellent lead performance from Chadwick Boseman, who has never disappointed us as an actor. We wound up enjoying this flick for the most part. It certainly isn't going to win any awards, but it's worth checking out for fans of sordid revenge thrillers.
My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 40%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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