MONKEY REVIEW: King Of California

February 11, 2008

King Of California is about a man recently released from a mental institution who almost immediately recruits his 16-year-old daughter, who has been living on her own for two years, in a hunt for buried gold. The father and daughter are played by Michael Douglas and Evan Rachel Wood, and while they’re very good, the movie isn’t quite as good as their performances. The movie is plainly meant to echo other movies like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, to the point where there’s a recurring musical cue that recalls that movie’s soundtrack, but it never rises to those heights. Part of the problem is that King Of California can’t seem to decide on what kind of a movie it wants to be. At times it seems like it wants to be a realistic portrayal of the problems and pressures children of mentally ill people experience, but by the end, the movie has developed a sort of fairy tale air about it. Those two qualities don’t end up meshing very well, so the movie, though watchable and mostly entertaining, turns out not to be very satisfying all in all.

MONKEY RATING: THREE MONKEYS

(For a brief explanation of the Monkey Review rating system, click here.)

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