Director Judd Apatow is no stranger when it comes to comedy. The director has brought us many laughs with films including The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and Trainwreck. Now, Apatow's latest film The King of Staten Island brings together a star studded cast for a unique story.
Pete Davidson takes on the lead role as Scott Carlin, with an all-star supporting cast including Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Bel Powley, Maude Apatow and Steve Buscemi. There has been high anticipation for the latest film as the plot follows: Scott (Davidson) a 24 year-old lives at home with his mom (Tomei) suffering with a psychological disorder ever since the death of his firefighter dad. He spends all his time smoking weed and has dreams of being a tattoo artist. When his mom starts dating Ray (Burr) a firefighter, he decides to deal with his disorder and get the courage to take on his own responsibility to finally grow up and move forward with his life.
Davidson co-wrote the film with Apatow and long time friend Dave Sirus, and this also marks Davidson's second major role, with Big Time Adolescence being his theatrical debut. Davidson also dedicates this film to his father, Scott, who was killed on 9/11.
With the film being released this Friday, critics have voiced their reviews, which are mostly positive. As of Tuesday morning, film is sitting at a Rotten Tomatoes score of 79% with 61 reviews and has a Metacritic score of 67. Critics have been praising the performances and call The King of Staten Island Apatow's most mature film to date. Here is what the critics have to say:
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone:
"At 136 minutes, The King of Staten Island may strike some as needlessly drag-ass. But Apatow lets the movie breathe without losing its internal dynamism. He takes his time to let us see the sheer effort required for Scott to move past his self-destructive grief, get on that ferry into Manhattan and maybe take a baby step toward a fresh start. No miracle cures here or a bullshit happy ending. It's better than that. And so is Davidson, who turns this comic portrait of an artist as a young fuck-up into one of the year's best movies."
Matt Goldberg of Collider:
"Although there are elements of The King of Staten Island that are autobiographical to Davidson (his father was a firefighter who died on 9/11, Davidson and his character both have Crohn's disease and smoke a lot of weed), Apatow treats the material like a character piece rather than The Pete Davidson Story Starring Pete Davidson. Apatow has never shied away from long runtimes, but here it feels appropriate. There's a way to tighten up this narrative and make it more efficient, but that wouldn't be in tune with the protagonist."
Since Davidson is an SNL cast member and standup comic, the question gets asked, "Is he funny?" but I think for our purposes here with The King of Staten Island, the better question is, "Is he effective?" and the answer is a resounding "Yes." He makes you feel empathy for this charming dirt-bag, and unlike other Apatow comedies, he doesn't have the benefit of a litany of clever one-liners.
David Ehrlich of Indiewire:
"The King of Staten Island" might lack the lightning-in-a-bottle magic that made Apatow's first movies such instant cultural touchstones, but this sweet film crystallizes the feeling of being too scared to escape your own shadow."
Molly Freeman of Screen Rant:
"In The King of Staten Island, Davidson, Apatow and Sirus manage to craft a smart coming of age tale fit for the millennial generation. Much of the film comes across as a slice of life story, with Scott wandering through the movie just as he does his own life, but that lackadaisical approach is clearly intentional as a reflection of Davidson's character. When Scott begins to take his life more seriously, the movie more closely resembles a tightly plotted drama."
Steve Pond of The Wrap:
"Davidson has perhaps found the right guy in Apatow to help tell the story, too. "The King of Staten Island" can test the patience of all but fervid Davidson devotees, but it also manages to be an affecting comedy that moves softly through some dangerous territory."
Very much enjoyed #TheKingofStatenIsland, a heartfelt & often bittersweet love letter to the FDNY & the blue-collar… https://t.co/oyE3gJZtv2— Erik Davis (@Erik Davis) 1591633828.0
#TheKingofStatenIsland is one of those movies where everyone in the cast comes off as authentic. Marisa Tomei once… https://t.co/EivjcUVqmp— Dan Buffa (@Dan Buffa) 1591636023.0
.@JuddApatow’s #TheKingOfStatenIsland wears its sincere heart prominently on its sleeve. Pete Davidson is fittingly… https://t.co/WdkAi7wUFb— Courtney Howard (@Courtney Howard) 1591632064.0
So I can finally tak about how great #TheKingofStatenIsland is... Hardest I've laughed in a while but Apatow's abil… https://t.co/FllTMAZk6g— Awais Irfan (@Awais Irfan) 1591632865.0
The film was originally set to hit theaters on June 19, 2020. However, due to the pandemic, the film will be available Friday on VOD and digital platforms. With all of the positive praise, this is definitely a must to watch this weekend.
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