Jack (Charlie Plummer) is a scrappy 15-year-old kid stuck in a small, run-down town. He’s got more problems than he can handle: an escalating feud with a violent older bully, a crush on a neighborhood girl, and having to go to summer school again. So when his runty younger cousin (Cory Nichols) comes to stay for the weekend, the last thing Jack wants to do is look after him – but no one really cares what Jack wants.
What We Thought:
I know bullying is a hot button topic nowadays and bullying/anti-bullying films are all groundbreaking and thought-provoking, but there’s nothing original about King Jack whatsoever. I would have loved the film if it brought something new to the table.
The thing is, there’s a lot of positives with the film. The lead actor, Charlie Plummer, gives a very solid performance. He captures that perfect mix of loner, teen angst, outcast, wanting more in life attitude that this type of kid goes through. It’s one of those indie teen performances that puts someone on the map like The Kings of Summer, Me, Earl & the Dying Girl, and Mud.
The film has a cool look and style to it. It’s gritty and authentic looking. You get that realistic rural, small town feel to it. The setting and production design really worked for me.
I’m just so over this bullying craze. Bullying has been around forever. It’s always existed and always will. I was bullied as a kid, no one made a movie out of it. Parents didn’t make a big deal out of it. You either fought back or took it. Without spoiling too much, 3 older kids shoot someone with a paint ball gun while tied up. How are they not arrested?
That’s my problem with these movies, there’s no realistic answer to what’s happening. These kids are clearly being bullied. The older brother helps one situation, but that just escalates things. Jack does eventually try to fight back, but has no real plan. These kids are bigger than him, take a bat with you or something.
King Jack is well made, well acted and for most people, an eye-opening story. I will recommend it overall even though I’m personally done watching these types of films. Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, but Charlie Plummer is going on my radar because he was really good in it.
Cast & Crew:
- Charlie Plummer
- Cory Nichols
- Christian Madsen
- Danny Flaherty
Recommended If You Like:
- Little Accidents
- Bad Turn Worse