King of the Jungle (2000)
Martin Scorsese's seminal 1975 drama Taxi Driver informs this tale of a neglected, Upper West Side outcast who slowly devolves into a potential murderer. John Leguizamo stars as Seymour, the mentally-challenged self-proclaimed "king" of the film's title. He's still in the care of his mother Mona (Julie Carmen), who is a protest organizer against their neighborhood's corrupt police practices. Although Mona lives happily with her lover Joanne (Rosie Perez), her ex-boyfriend Jack (Cliff Gorman) often shows up to antagonize the household, Seymour in particular. His assertion that the unstable young man is faking his malady only sends Seymour into an unpredictable rage. Shortly after the film's production, writer-director Seth Zvi Rosenfeld married his rambunctious star Perez; their friend Annabella Sciorra shows up in a supporting role. … More
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Critic Reviews for King of the Jungle
[Seymour's] story demands a larger meaning, a sense of the poetic, than mere heart-tugging can provide, but Rosenfeld cannot provide it.
A hard, vibrant surface can't quite cover the mossy, skimpy center of this story.
One of those films that feel drunk on their own virtue.
[Rosenfeld] finds a way to convey messiness that gives King an honest and particular heartbeat.
It's more than a little tiresome to see executive producer Leguizamo put himself through the tortured contortions of his character.
Meanders with clumsy flashbacks, unexplored characters and relationships and a rushed, unsatisfying conclusion.
Filled less with performance than it is riddled with Oscar clips.
The fact is that given the talent involved, it should have been much better.
Every clichéd cinematic device ... is spread out before the audience like a bad road map.
The script isn't worth the quality of the work put in to it.
Audience Reviews for King of the Jungle
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