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King's Ransom

King's Ransom

Studio:New Line Cinema
Director:Jeff Byrd
Cast:Anthony Anderson, Donald Faison, Regina Hall
Release Date:2005
Genre:Comedy, Crime

By Violet LeVoit | Posted 5/11/2005

Everybody hates blow-hard tycoon Malcolm King (Anthony Anderson). His second-in-command (Nicole Ari Parker) hates him because he promoted his flibbertigibbet mistress (Regina Hall) over her. His wife (Kellita Smith) hates him because he’s trying to cut her out of their divorce settlement. Some loser living in his grandma’s basement (Jay Mohr) hates King because of the way he cruelly dismissed his business proposal. Practically the only person in town who doesn’t hate him is the Asian newscaster lady who’s conveniently updating a kidnapping case whenever anyone turns on a TV. And, of course, that puts the idea in every hater’s head to kidnap Malcolm King and hold him for ransom—a moneymaking scheme occurring even to King himself. King’s Ransom starts out with the depth of a particularly interlocking episode of The Love Boat, with enough plot points for three movies and characters—the brassy sistah secretary (Loretta Devine), the blondie ditz (Brooke D’Orsay), the scary ex-con with a mouthful of gold (Charles Q. Murphy)—who would have to guzzle Myoplex to become one-dimensional. But the whole mess o’ hijinks gains comic inertia toward the end (especially thanks to Mohr’s slacker-going-apeshit under King’s assertiveness training) and shows a glimmer of the multithreaded, broad farce that could have been. But in between the sparsely doled out clever sight gags lay a lot of prison rape jokes and multiple exhortations to “kiss my black ass.” Asses of all ethnicities will remain underwhelmed.

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