x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

King of the Avenue

Ving Rhames stars in this dismal tale of a Faustian pact with a drug lord.

King of the Avenue

Director: Ryan Combs

Starring: Simon Rex, Ving Rhames, Esai Morales

If the presence of blood, gore, senseless violence and nudity (almost all of it entirely gratuitous) is critical to your film- viewing pleasure, then in King of the Avenue you might just have found yourself a winner. If this is not the case, then I would advise against watching this film. King of the Avenue is a low-budget, low-ambition rendition of a Faustian tale that we have seen played out many times before, invariably with far greater integrity, intelligence, originality and finesse. Taz (Simon Rex) is a small-time criminal who strikes a deal with the devil in order to save his family and follow in his deceased father's footsteps to become the drug lord of Miami. Pact made and life effectively signed away, his father (Ving Rhames) seemingly rises from the dead to assist him with this mission (as he quickly realises, it's actually a demon in disguise). This established, further plot synopsis is hardly necessary. Initially Taz revels in the glamour and power associated with his new position. By the time he comes to the conclusion that excessive greed doesn't pay, it's all too late and the fate of his friends and family is at stake. Ultimately, viewers are asked to sympathise with a hardened criminal whose morals were highly questionable long before he encountered the devil. This premise, much like the film itself, simply doesn't work.