Picks and Pans Review: The King

updated 05/29/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/29/2006 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Gael García Bernal, William Hurt


García Bernal is an actor who's always fascinating to watch, even in a muddled movie like this dark drama. Compact, lithe and with melting eyes that expressively reflect his emotions, he holds your interest no matter how improbable the onscreen carryings-on. In The King, he plays a troubled 21-year-old named Elvis Valderez who, newly discharged from the Navy, heads to Corpus Christi, Texas, to find the father (Hurt) he never knew. When the man, now a pastor with a family, tells Elvis to scram, the son sets out to destroy Dad and all he holds dear. With references to everything from religion to Elvis Presley, King offers a lot to chew on, but it's more gristle than meat. (R)
[2 stars]

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