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Rated 3.02 stars
by 226 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Payback Time
by Betty Jo Tucker

Chadwick Boseman deserves kudos for his riveting performance in Message from the King. He caught my eye as Jackie Robinson in 42 and as James Brown in Get on Up, so I already knew about his impressive versatility. But I wasn’t prepared for the power he unleashes as Jacob King in this suspenseful action thriller. Boseman transforms himself into a man deeply concerned about his sister and dedicated to personally punishing anyone who has done her harm.

Yes, Message from the King deals with revenge, “a dish best served cold.” But Jacob King’s revenge is piping hot indeed! A man of few words, he has a short time to find out why his sister is missing, who is involved in her disappearance, and how to “take care” of the individuals responsible. During this mission, King meets a variety of L.A. bad guys. The actors playing these unsympathetic parts include Alfred Molina as a sleazy Hollywood producer, Luke Evans as a suspicious dentist, and Tom Felton as a coke dealer. King also interacts with a woman (Teresa Palmer) who needs his help and a sexy lady (Natalie Martinez) who tries to assist him at first. These fine supporting cast members enhance the film’s quality.                     

But Boseman’s Jacob King is the man to watch closely here.

What happened to his sister dear?

Something makes her big brother fear.

He feels she’s in some trouble bad.

In her last phone call, she sounds sad.


He gets no answer when he calls back.

So he leaves home, his Sis to track.

From South Africa to L. A.

this stoic man does not delay.


Finding his sister is his goal.

But vengeance, folks, lies in his soul.

Beware, bad guys, for Jacob’s here.

Hurt his sister? Then get your gear!


Chadwick Boseman casts a bold spell

as this tough brother he plays so well.

When he gets home, there’s a surprise.

And then you’ll know why he’s so wise.

Director Fabrice du Weiz (Colt 45) moves this film along at a brisk pace, and the hard-hitting action lends excitement to hold our interest. Screenwriters Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell, who both worked on the script for Unknown, developed an intriguing yet simple story for viewers to follow. Plus, cinematography and background music help create the appropriate dark atmosphere for Message from the King.

WARNING: Don’t try any of Jacob King’s moves at home.      

(Released by Netflix and rated “R” for brutal violence, grisly images, sexual content/nudity, language throughout and some drug use.)

For more information about Message from the King, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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