Sundance Review: King of California
by Alex Billington
January 29, 2007
One of my personal favorite films of Sundance and one I've been looking forward to for quite some time, King of California, certainly lives up to all of my own anticipation and excitement. King of California follows Charlie (Michael Douglas), a mentally unstable father of Miranda (Evan Rachel Wood), who after recently being released from the mental hospital returns home and sets off on a pursuit of Spanish gold supposedly hidden underground in urban California. After searching around the landscape their last hope is under six feet of cement - the flooring in a Costco. It's a magical film that can easily be watched over and over and remain enjoyable. Douglas is like a crazed Indiana Jones on a search for fool's gold in the depths of the Californian urban-jungle.
King of California feels like a completely real story in the fullest extent - I could drive down to a Costco in California right now and find a girl and her father digging a hole in the cement in search of gold. Even the comedy between the two is very natural. There is not a better duo available for these characters than Evan Rachel Wood and Michael Douglas; Douglas is an irreplaceable actor and this film would not at all be what it is without his involvement. In addition, King of California features a wonderful Mexican soundtrack that rivals Kill Bill 2's mind-blowing soundtrack. I only go out of my way to mention a film's music choices when it really makes that much of an impact, and in King of California it did. I cannot wait to see this again and share the wonderful experience that it is with everyone else who couldn't be at Sundance.
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