'The King Of Staten Island' Offers Great Performances In This Typical Judd Apatow Film
By Sal LoCicero | June 23, 2020
The legendary filmmaker who introduced audiences to Steve Carell, with The 40 Year old Virgin, Seth Rogen, with Knocked Up, and Amy Schumer, with Trainwreck; returns after five years to introduce audiences to SNL star Pete Davidson with his latest film 'The King Of Staten Island'.
It is surprisingly more exciting than ever to get another Judd Apatow picture after a five year long wait. Apatow is mostly known for getting stars like Pete Davidson and helping them boost their career. Most of the actors who have collaborated with Apatow have all been successful and their careers have skyrocketed. Apatow is now collaborating with Pete Davidson.
'The King Of Staten Island' is a semi-autobiographical film about Pete Davidson. It focuses primarily on him growing up in Staten Island, the loss of his father who was a firefighter on 9/11 and how that affected him as well as his family. The plot seemed very interesting, almost as if this movie could’ve been Apatow’s standout film. It appeared that this would be his second dark comedy; along with Funny People, but possibly better.
One thing that you can expect from a Judd Apatow film, is that they are always long...like an MCU movie. His longest movie ever is Funny People, which clocks in at a runtime of 2 Hrs and 26 Mins. With 'The King of Staten Island', this clocks around 2 Hrs and 17 Mins - which is long - but with all the stuff that this movie is supposed to tackle, the runtime is understandable.
The movie focuses on the main character Scott who hangs around with his friends, smokes weed, tries to find a way to get his act together, and is still coping with the loss of his father. When you tie in his mother meeting another man who is also a firefighter, it doesn’t feel like it really needs to be two and a half hours long despite the amount of story lines. There have been plenty of comedies out there that are an hour and a half long that tackle as many plots as this one does. If this movie also focused on him discovering stand up comedy (which is the opposite of what the filmmakers intended) then maybe, just maybe, this would’ve earned its runtime. When you have a movie that is two and a half hours long, then either the story needs to be big, or you need to focus on every character who serves a purpose on screen.
Aside from that, Pete Davidson gives a fantastic performance and I have no doubt that his career will skyrocket after this. All the performances are top notch as well as Marisa Tomei and Bill Burr.
'The King Of Staten Island' also does a pretty good job at blending comedy and drama, although at times some of the comedy and drama elements don’t match for certain scenes. You can tell that in order for the film to be a dramedy, they didn’t want the movie to lose the comedy aspect (since this focuses on an SNL star’s life, and is directed by a guy who is known for comedies) and that can make this feel uneven at times.
There were some redeemable aspects here and there, but it's truly the performances that make 'The King Of Staten Island' a memorable movie.
What are your thoughts?