This kid Scott bums around the borough of Staten Island without one iota of responsibility. He hangs with his friends in his mother’s basement, smoking joints and watching violent movies as the girls complain that they never do anything and the guys preen about how they don’t care.
He gives those that dare tattoos, because, well, that’s his dream … only he’s somehow combined it with a restaurant, even coming up with the name RubyTattoosdays, much to a reaction that ranges from chagrin to disgust.
Oh, yeah, he drove solo on the the highway fast and recklessly with his eyes closed, only to open them in time to save himself but cause enough of a ruckus to others in this wake.
Only Scott isn’t a kid, really, at 24 years old. And you get the idea, minute by minute in <em>The King of Staten Island</em>, that his way of life could be growing tiresome to everybody around him. Except himself.
Directed by Judd Apatow from the screenplay he co-wrote with Pete Davidson and David Sirius, this is a story that comic Davidson has revealed has come from, in major chunks, from his real life.
So we see that Scott acts out because his fireman father died 17 years prior in a workplace accident. Davidson’s father was one of the fallen heroes in the Twin Towers during Nine Eleven.
Davidson, then, is perfectly fit for the stubborn, wise mouth Scott. Hey, Scott many remind you of Davidson from some bits on <em>Saturday Night Live</em>, you know?
The foil here is a father who comes marching to their house when Scott decides it would be OK to tattoo a 9-year-old kid who wanders into a friends circle at the park.
Bill Burr stands prickly as Ray, the, yes, fireman who gets over his rage enough to notice that Mom’s pretty nice. Marisa Tomei does a good job as a mother whose eyes are opened to the fact that son must make changes.
It’s believable to watch Scott’s eyes and heart open little by little as he learns important and hard lessons in life. Bel Powley adds just the right touch as the Staten Island woman who’s been at this side through so much, whether he wanted to admit it or not. Steve Buscemi was the right choice to play a firehouse vet who knows how to handle the son of a fireman who fell on the job.
Scott is not going to be perfect, but, hey, we all can read about Pete Davidson’s real life, yes?