Ever since Scott’s father died in a tragic incident, Scott (Pete Davidson) has lost his way in life. In the present day, Scott is twenty-four years old and has desires of being the first to launch a restaurant where you can also get a tattoo, all under the one roof. But this dream is far from being real. Scott also hopes to be a professional tattoo artist. To practice, he offers free and random tattoos to his close friends in order to gain experience. Scott has big dreams of one day moving forward in life, but instead, he spends his days just smoking weed and doing very little. He also lives with his mother and does little to help or contribute when it comes to supporting those around him. But when Scott’s sister gets accepted to college, he feels somewhat annoyed by her success. To makes matters worse, Scott’s mother, who has been single for some time, begins to date and discovers love. Scott is not impressed. But with his mother falling in love, Scott starts to deal with his grief and past loss and slowly starts to take new steps to change his world.
This movie is directed by Judd Apatow and based on the director’s resume, it’s no secret the director has a skill when it comes to comedy and witty humour. Once again, this is evident in The King of Staten Island. While the film didn’t provide any significant belly laughs, I’m happy to say this film certainly provided me with a grin for the majority of it. The humour here is excellent, and I loved how this film managed to deliver heartfelt moments to the screen too, which was also surprising.
Performances are also reliable, starting right at the top. Pete Davidson was great as Scott, and he felt believable at all times. I’m not overly familiar with this actor, but I thought he was great, and I genuinely felt for his character who is dealing with grief from his past. Supporting cast including Marisa Tomei and Bill Burr were also fantastic. Even the small cameo role from Steve Buscemi was a perfect ingredient for this film.
While performances are great and the film is loaded with comedy and heartfelt moments, The King of Staten Island’s most significant issue is simply the duration. It’s no secret when it comes to the director that he enjoys making lengthy comedy films and for the most part this doesn’t bother me given the director and his craft in filmmaking. But here I certainly felt it—there are also many moments with predictable outcomes. When the film delivers a new surprise, I couldn’t help but think ‘wow that took a long time for the film to get there finally’.
Overall, this is a delightful comedy. Those who have seen a film directed by Judd Apatow previously will generally know what to expect. Once again, this is a film that delivers heartfelt moments, along with random and witty humour. Performances are solid from Pete Davidson in the lead role, and the supporting cast is also pleasing. The runtime is certainly my big issue here as I felt some moments certainly took longer than what was required. Either way, it’s still a delightful film.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden