Film Review - Message from the King

Available on NetFlix

Synopsis (from IMDB): After suddenly losing all contact with his younger sister, Jacob King arrives in LA determined to track her down. Trying to piece together her last known movements, King finds unsettling evidence of a life gone off the rails - drugs, sex, and secrets in the sleazy underbelly of the City of Angels. Undeterred by warnings to go home, King proves more than a match for the violence he is confronted with as he relentlessly pursues the truth about what happened to his sister.

Netflix has some interesting movies in its catalog. I decided to check this one out as I am a fan of a lot of the actors in this film. The film has a gritty tone to it and a lot of mature themes. What starts as a kind of fish out of water movie turns into a full on revenge thriller about half way through it. This isn't a bad thing as they show you the reason why the film goes that way. There are some truly effed up things that happen in this movie. Visually, the movie has a kind of indie feel to it. I do like some of the cinematography and some of the visuals can get pretty surreal. There is this one scene where it is a dream sequence that has some pretty freaky imagery in it. I liked the pacing of the movie and outside of a couple of sequences, I liked the South African accent that Chadwick Boseman used. It did not bother me and I could understand him for most of the movie. The main cast was great. I think they did a good job and the story, for the most part, was not bad.

While I do feel that the story was not bad there were some issues that I saw with it. The main issue I found was with the editing. There were scenes that felt like something was missing that would help to explain the situation. For example, two of the main characters form a sort of bond in the film, the problem is we don't see it form at all. It feels like there was a scene or two missing that set that up. Also, this movie feels like it takes place over the course of a few days. And by few days I mean three at the most. There is also the fact that we know very little about the main character, Jacob King, it would have been nice to know a little bit about his backstory. I feel like all we got in the movie is that he is relentless once he has set his mind on something.

For Parents
This is rated TV-MA, basically Rated R, for violence, drug usage, nudity, and sexual situations. The movie isn't really gory but there are a lot of beatings and general violence that happens. The movie does go to a dark place in the climax where you find out that one of the villains did something truly jacked up and that act is what started the chain of events that unfold in the movie. Not to spoil anything but it does involve a child so be warned. The movie does move at a good pace and is only about an hour and forty minutes.

Final Thoughts
I gave the movie a 3 out of 5 stars. It's not bad per se but I feel that the editing issues kind of took away from the movie. I think there are some things to like about the movie and overall I can see myself watching this one again at some point. Have you watched Message from the King? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. As always thanks for reading and if you liked what you read please don't hesitate to share.


Images via IMDB and NetFlix

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