This is not one of his more famous roles–it’s kind of an obscure movie. A hidden treasure. And because this week is where we pay tribute to the King, there’s no better way than to talk up movies he made that people may not know about. Especially this one.
Here’s the trailer, then we’ll chat.
What makes this so good?
I mean, Chadwick Boseman could have gone grocery shopping in Safeway with a short list, and I’d still watch 40 minutes of film about him talking to the woman at the seafood counter about sea scallops and clams.
MESSAGE FROM THE KING isn’t a big-budget movie. I doubt there’s a single frame of CGI in this film. More and more, I appreciate films that rock without an ounce of CGI.
What makes this so special isn’t just Boseman’s acting, which is always stellar. I like how this thriller sets up our hero as being badly outnumbered and outgunned, in a foreign land, and still winning–not because he’s faster and tougher than the bad guys, which is the typical path of any action movie. On occasion, they’ll mix it up and have the hero win by being more brutal and bloodthirsty. You know, DEATH WISH or DIRTY HARRY style.
This movie shows our hero do clever thing after clever thing. And yes, he gets into fights, but he does it smart. In the final confrontation, instead of taking on all the bad guys on a rainy rooftop, outnumbered 10-to-1, minimum, he uses the greed of the villains against them. It’s so well done.
Chadwick Boseman was an amazing talent and it still hits me that he’s gone.
Note: If you like the accent he used when playing Black Panther, his character in this movie is from South Africa, and he does the accent so damn well I freaked out when seeing him speak at the MTV Awards show, kinda like hearing Christian Bale’s natural Welsh accent for the first time and your brain is completely befuddled.
It’s worth watching the clip for what he does during his acceptance speech for Best Hero–what a decent, honorable, good-hearted man.
Fire up Netflix, watch this film, and raise your glass in Boseman’s memory.