King of New York is a chronicle of the downfall of New York drug kingpin Frank White (Christopher Walken), who, after years of illegal activity – and newly released after a spell in Sing Sing – decides to expiate his sins by building a hospital in an inner-city neighbourhood.
And so his loyal crew begin to hit all the other major drug lords in NY – to eliminate the competition and to utilise their money to help the poor.
Frank’s attempts to give something back to the community encounter hostile resistance from every side – his Chinese drug partner, Larry Wong (Joey Chin), the local Mafia, and overzealous cops Dennis Gilley (David Caruso), Thomas Flanigan (Wesley Snipes) and Roy Bishop (Victor Argo), who are ready to do anything to bring him down.
Along the way, he triggers an ethnically-motivated gangster war that ends in a bloody showdown among the city’s criminal factions.
Walken gives a tour de force performance in the lead as a ruthless killer with a twisted sense of morality, and Laurence Fishburne as White’s henchman Jimmy Jump contributes to the film’s frenetic energy. The photography is stunning and New York at night never looked so good.
Leonard L. Thomas
Roger Guenveur Smith
Emilio El Zapo
Gary Landon Mills