King's Ransom

"Terrible"

King's Ransom Review


If a truly bad movie -- like, say, Gigli -- deserves to be bashed, then a miserable, wretched, wholly unredeemable movie like King's Ransom deserves to be bashed, burned, and have its ashes scattered over Hollywood. Think of this gesture as a memorial to all the luckless filmgoers who will lose 95 minutes of their lives watching this steaming pile of dreck.

In case you need convincing, here's the setup. Malcolm King (Anthony Anderson) is a tycoon who's on the verge of selling his company for $25 million. (Apparently sales have been brisk for the company's bestselling product, "Boneagra," an erectile dysfunction medicine whose ads feature the tagline "Straight Up.") The problem is, Malcolm is in the middle of an acrimonious divorce, and his wife is determined to take him for everything he's worth. So he hatches a plan to stage his own kidnapping, demand an extravagant ransom from himself, and thereby shield his wealth from his wife. (How exactly this is going to work after the ransom is paid is never actually explained.)

In order to execute his foolproof scheme, Malcolm engages the help of his witless girlfriend, Peaches (Regina Hall), whose chief asset is her abundant booty, which the camera never hesitates to lovingly caress. Peaches, in turn, enlists her brother (Charles Q. Murphy), a recently released convict, to do the actual kidnapping. But what Malcolm doesn't know is that several other parties have hatched (real) kidnapping plans of their own. Three other parties, to be precise: his disgruntled wife and her lover, a trio of disgruntled employees, and a pathetic yokel (Jay Mohr) who has no real connection to Malcolm but does provide the film occasion to make fun of white trash.

Complications arise when Peaches's brother accidentally kidnaps the wrong guy, a valet (Donald Faison) who is masquerading as Malcolm to score chicks. This leaves the door open for the other schemers, who are more than ready to seize the opportunity. Faster than you can say Pootie Tang, Malcolm is kidnapped by his wife's lover, snatched away by the trio of angry employees, then nabbed yet again by Mohr's hapless bumpkin. The sequence is meant to be silly and fun, but even in the realm of suspended reality, the whoppers in King's Ransom are beyond belief.

All this may seem overly harsh, but it's not. King's Ransom achieves a rare form of badness. It is both blandly familiar and uniquely terrible. Every punch line has been delivered somewhere else, to much greater effect, and every plot twist is directly imitative of other, better movies, like Nine to Five and Ruthless People. Yet, at the same time, King's Ransom is in a league of its own. Surely it blows away all previous records for gratuitous cleavage shots, idiotic racial stereotypes, and unfunny menstruation jokes.

At a purely theoretical level, before the movie actually starts, King's Ransom isn't without promise. The cast boasts a roster of actors who have proven their skills elsewhere. Murphy is hilarious on Chappelle's Show, Faison is glibly funny on Scrubs, and Anderson and Mohr deliver solid comedic turns in Barbershop and Jerry Maguire, respectively. But director Jeff Byrd and screenwriter Wayne Conley give these talented performers so little to work with that King's Ransom is certain to be in the hunt for the crown jewel of bad movies in 2005.



King's Ransom

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd April 2005

Box Office USA: $4.0M

Distributed by: WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 2%
Fresh: 1 Rotten: 49

IMDB: 4.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jeff Byrd

Producer:

Starring: as Malcolm King, as Corey, as Renee King, as Brooke Mayo, as Andre

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Advertisement
Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.