Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 17 minutes
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Life, on the surface at least, is good for Dane Washington (Michæl Jace). Now a high priced corporate attorney at home in the high rise world of snazzy suits and power lunches, Dane’s days on the mean streets of the hood seem long ago. But not so far away that his old pal Trevor (Ricky Harris), after repeated attempts, can’t track down his evasive former compadre at Dane’s office. After a few pleasantries, Trevor convinces Dane to meet him that evening at the seedy bar which was their old hang-out. There, after a somewhat awkward reunion with the rest of his resentful boyhood friends, Dane learns that Trevor now owns the bar — through undisclosed and probably illegal means — and listens as Trevor offers him a partnership in running it.
After this intriguing and well-handled set-up, director Niva Dorell ends the film before Dane, sorely tempted, makes his decision. Here is where “Kings” falters; providing not nearly enough of a rationale for Dane to even consider regressing to his old life in the hood. Instead, the film manages to make BOTH ways of life depressing. Being an up and coming corporate attorney might mean a pressure packed life of long, labor intensive hours, but would hanging around a smokey, dingy bar filled with questionable characters really be that much better? Despite the temptation to reconnect with old friends — people he doesn’t even seem to like much now — there should be no way a smart guy like Dane would even think about steering a life he’s worked so hard to change into this cul-de-sac. That he’s even considering it simply stretches credibility too far, ultimately undermining this somber film.
Posted on February 10, 2000 in Reviews by Merle Bertrand
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