'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 people 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 come to expect from a Judd Apatow film, is that they are always long...like the same length as an MCU film. His longest movie ever is Funny People which clocks in 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 the film tackles; 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 even with the topics that this film focuses on. It simply doesn’t prove that it needs to be THAT long. There have been plenty of comedies out there that are an hour and a half long that tackle as many topics as this one has. If this movie also focused on him discovering stand up comedy (which is the opposite of what the filmmakers wanted to do) then maybe, just maybe this film would’ve earned its runtime. When you have a movie that is two and a half hours long, then you should take advantage and try to focus on everything you possibly intended on doing with your feature. This movie could’ve done that.
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). Which can sometimes make the film feel uneven.
There were some redeemable aspects here and there, but the performances are really what makes The King Of Staten Island a memorable movie.