Scott has been a case of arrested development ever since his firefighter father died when he was seven. He’s now reached his mid-20s having achieved little, chasing a dream of becoming a tattoo artist that seems far out of reach.
There’s no way to predict how the death of a loved one will affect a person. While some may grieve immediately, for others it may take a while and some not at all. The mental turmoil can have a lasting effect resulting in a number of problems later on in life. When it happens at a young age, it may mold you into a hardened person, it may crush you, or you may forget it ever happened. In what I feel is Judd Apatow’s most grounded film, The King of Staten Island presents us with a complex and relatable character. Afraid of getting to close to someone, scared to make real decisions, feeling unworthy love, and in need of guidance, these are just a few things present that many of us may have dealt with in some capacity. All stemming from loss. This leads to its biggest theme, letting go of the past so you can enjoy your present. You can remember the past and learn from it but you have to be cognizant of the present in order to enjoy your future.
Filled with dark humor, great writing, and some surprising performances, The King of Staten Island is very enjoyable. The humor is the type that looks dreadful on paper but it’s delivered in such a way that you can’t help but laugh. It’s also full of family and friendship drama that keeps you interested. It’s a story that feels earnest and full of heart, letting us know that no one is a lost cause. I feel this will be mostly enjoyed by millennials and Pete Davidson fans. The only negatives I found were the abrupt ending and it seemed like it almost lost its way. However, I didn’t hate the ending once I analyzed it but it felt similar to the last episode of The Sopranos. Ultimately, this movie is a good watch. Whenever you can truly root for a character and hope they flip their circumstances, it’s a win. Rewatchability is a medium-high.
Plot & Pace
The story follows Scott, an aspiring tattoo artist in his mid-twenties. Still affected by the death of his firefighter father from when he was a child, Scott has accomplished nothing. Lacking direction and drive, he still lives at home with his mother while his sister is going off to college. His cynical outlook on life has resulted in him becoming a burnout along with his friends. A questionable decision results in huge changes to Scott’s life and now he must face everything he has been avoiding. As far as the pacing goes, the movie is a journey. Like some journies, it takes a while to get to the point but it’s worth it.
Characters & Chemistry
Scott (Pete Davidson) is a very relatable character. Davidson did a great job and has more range than I knew. I didn’t know he could make me feel the level of sadness I felt. His chemistry with Ray (Bill Burr) is perfect. They both seemed to be playing characters with personalities that are similar to their own. Ray is a man of honor and hard work that may also have some secrets. Marisa Tomei as Margie is a character that many mothers can relate to, especially under the circumstances in this film. Also, Steve Buscemi as Papa gave a great performance.
The King of Staten Island will be available on VOD on June 12th. Enjoy and stay safe.
Director: Judd Apatow
Writers: Judd Apatow, Pete Davidson, Dave Sirus
Runtime: 2h 16m
Rating: 4 out of 5