One Eyed King

Starring: Armand Assante, William Baldwin and Chazz Palminteri
Mosaic Entertainment
RRP: 12.99
Certificate: 15
Available 28 February 2005

In the gangland streets known as Hell's Kitchen a group of boys vow to support and protect each other. Years later two of them become involved in a money laundering scheme that goes seriously wrong, incurring the wrath of the local crime boss. When one of the group is discovered dead, supposedly of a drugs overdose, Frank learns the truth that he was killed. The most obvious suspect is the crime boss, but is it that simple?...

Crime lords, street gangs, drug dealers, Mafia mobsters or gangsters; they all meld into one messy blob as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps I'm not the best person to pass judgement on this film, because this is just about the worst genre there is. I think it's probably due to the fact the subject is all so clichéd, and One Eyed King is no exception. You can pretty much guess the events which will take place: stabbings, shootings, beatings, double-dealing and constant threats against the backdrop of strict Catholicism and strong family ties (yeah, right!) where they love their own like brothers until they turn their backs.

Characterisation is an even more convincing example of stereotyping. Italian (or Irish) Americans with slick-back hair (usually called Gino, Toni or Louis) put cotton wool in their cheeks and talk with dodgy Mafia-like accents.

All this might seem like rambling, but it gets my point across. This film achieves nothing in dispelling the myth. Predictable and monotonously conventional.

Ty Power

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