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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.