Thursday, August 27, 2015
Call Me King (2015) film review
Running Time: 118 minutes
Director and Writer: R.L. Scott
Cast: Amin Joseph, Maurice Whitfield, Sean Riggs, Jonathan McDaniel, Gabrielle Dennis, Bai Ling
Call Me King opens in cinemas in the United States on September 4 2015.
Action packed Call Me King captivates and transfixes from it's very opening scene with intriguing visuals and witty dialogue that is part of an explosive screenplay. Brothers, Rhyis (Amin Joseph) and Khalil (Maurice Whitfield) were as young boys ousted from Haiti under the dictatorship and as adults are now looking to return to their homeland with a great deal more power. Rhyis is the more ambitious of the two and head of their syndicate in the dangerous world of gun running. When the only man he looks up to and trusts, Angelo (Chris Mulkey) tells him that he is stepping down as leader of the Italian syndicate and placing control in the hands of Rhysis, it seems as though all of their life long ambitions will be fulfilled, until a terrible twist of fate takes place and leads to greater danger and violence to everyone in the syndicate and everyone they hold dear.
R.L. Scott's Call Me King is nothing short of nearly two hours of high paced, non-stop action. The film has a consistent atmosphere of dread and danger of which is addictive and craved as the story moves forward. While the physical aspect is at the forefront of the film and will undoubtedly be what is kept fresh in one's mind after a viewing, it is supported by a strong screenplay that maintains solid character development, intriguing dialogue and relatable underlying themes. Call Me King is not just a story about reclaiming ones birthright, but also about family. All of the family ties in the film are strained, particularly the father and son relationships. However, in times of need blood runs thicker than water. This may not be the case between Angelo and his son, but for Rhyis and Khalil this is absolutely how things are with the two of them and with their father. Their actions speak far louder than words as to how they all feel about each other, which is often how many families are.
Rapid camera movements during the well choreographed physical combat scenes gives further assistance to the tense and suspenseful atmosphere of the film. The locations chosen are gritty and perfectly suited to the story. The opening shots taken off the coast are particularly captivating and rather beautifully shot, which immediately captures one's undivided attention.
The cast of Call Me King do very well to bring to life the screenplay which has a vast amount of powerful dialogue. Amin Joseph is terrifying, but incredibly interesting as Rhyis. He is a man who is well and truly capable of anything due to his drive to succeed and the overpower and Joseph is cast perfectly. Maurice Whitfield is also very good, as is Sean Riggs. Call Me King is also highly respectful to women, as it features some extremely strong female characters who are every bit as formidable as the male. Gabrielle Dennis' Leena develops throughout the film from being a smart girl who allows herself to be walked over to a strong and dangerous protégé of fixer, Simone played by Monyque Thompson Scott. Leena is drawn to Simone for her strength and power, which is the same reason the viewer is intrigued by her. Bai Ling gives another powerful performance as Li Soo, a woman who never takes no for an answer and fiercely protects those she loves.
Call Me King is tense and controlled with many features which contribute to it's captivating success. It's high action levels do not take away from it's truthful representation of human relationships.