In King of New York almost all of it happens at night — what you would expect from a noirish film like this. Night fell on the screenplay and couldn’t get up. Last Man Standing is late afternoon to sunset, orange-gold overlays a world of endless dust, appropriate for a near-noir film. In both movies, there’s lots of guns and lots of blood.
Though King has a remarkably talented supporting cast — Lawrence Fishburne, David Caruso, Wesley Snipes and a brief appearance by Steve Buscemi — there is no doubt Christopher Walken is The King of New York. Walken ‘s character is cold-blooded and charming, crazy as a loon and despite his last, heartfelt and determined humanitarian attempt he fails to redeem his life of serious and gruesome criminality. The machine moves on. Directed by Abel Ferrara, the visually, but brutally striking film prompted some audience members at its premiere to walk out. Filmed in 1996, it is one of few relatively recent films to meet the exacting standards of what constitutes noir. There is no hope.
If you are staying in, this is definitely a hard liquor night. I’d save King of New York for last to savor Walken’s incredible performance. Nobody does crazy as well.