Local, Movie Reviews

King Of California

Posted: February 4, 2008 at 10:46 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Mike Cahill creates a character based comedy that works and holds interest but plods along and doesn’t suck us in like it should for most of the film.
The premise sounds fun, and is at times, but it is very deliberately paced and feels far longer then its hour and a half run time. The movie follows the mis-adventures of Charlie, the insanely crazy eyed mad bearded Michael Douglas, a recently turffed mental patient and his 16 year old daughter Miranda (Evan Rachel Wood) who has been working and paying the mortgage while she has been left at home alone. Upon Charlie’s return he is immediately on the quest for the lost gold treasure of a group of monks in the 16th century that leads the pair down potential and family issues along the way. There isn’t a lot of plot to deal with and we slowly follow Charlie as he narrows down the potential spots that hold the treasure.
The plot eventually leads them to a Cost Co and their attempt to find the river caves flowing underneath the store that hold the buried treasure. It’s when the story reaches this point that the film is its most enjoyable while also serving as the third act for the film.
I think the story didn’t suck me in like it hoped due to the fact that I am unconvinced by Wood’s performance. She just isn’t believable as Miranda and it doesn’t help her cause that the character herself is unbelievable; in the bad way. Miranda did have a couple of lines that made me laugh but most of the comedy is given to Charlie and Pepper (Willis Burks II) in the hilarious events involving him at the end. Wood just wasn’t believable as the emotional core and her emotions were just not affective.
Douglas is having a ball as Charlie though, as he should, and the movie was clearly sold on the character alone. He is fun and entertaining for 90 min, but the film feels more like a highlight reel for the craziness of Charlie more then a cohesive story. Charlie does sell us on the adventure in the end, even if we might not believe him; I just wish I was more invested throughout.
The film is a moderately entertaining romp that showcases a fun and eccentric character. If you weren’t a fan of Wood before this film like me, she isn’t going to change you here, and she might hurt your overall enjoyment of the film as well. If your a fan of Douglas check it out, and for some light hearted humor you can’t go to wrong with this one either.