Farewell To The King


Farewell To The King Review

I thought I was being all clever when I thought I'd compare Farewell to the King to Apocalpyse Now and The Mosquito Coast. Little did I know that director John Milius wrote the script for Apocalypse. Oh well.

King is a story about an American soldier (Nick Nolte, looking a lot like he does now in real life), who deserts his WWII P.O.W. march on an island in Borneo and escapes into the jungle. Years later (the war is still raging), he's discovered by British soldiers: He's now a "king" of the local people -- headhunters -- and he no longer wears a shirt. The Brits convince him to join the fight agains the Japanese again, and he reluctantly agrees, training the soldiers for a giant battle ahead.

This is Nolte's movie, hands down, who rises above some iffy material. The film is engrossing for its first hour, then slips into some old tropes: Training half-naked headhunters how to shoot guns? How many movies have we seen this in before? The last half of the film is one big war scene, but lacking any historical perspective -- this is, after all, wholly fictional -- the film loses its grip on the audience. Even Nolte's flowing locks can't rescue some drippy "Noooooooooooooo!" moments late in the game.

It's a fun ride overall, fortunately, and even some over-the-top histrionics don't keep it from being worth a look. At least for the first half.

Farewell To The King

Facts and Figures

Run time: 117 mins

In Theaters: Friday 3rd March 1989

Distributed by: MGM

Production compaines: Cine Location Services, David Hannay Productions, Film Plan Financing Number 1, Ruddy Morgan Productions, Southeast Asia Film Location Services Sdn. Bhd.


Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew


Producer: Andre Morgan

Starring: as Capt. Fairbourne, Frank McRae as Sgt. Tenga, as Gwai, as Learoyd, Marilyn Tokuda as Yoo, Choy Chang Wing as Lian, Aki Aleong as Col. Mitamura, as Sgt. Conklin, as Dynamite Dave, Wayne Pygram as Bren Armstrong, Richard Morgan as Strech Lewis, Elan Oberon as Vivienne, as Col. Ferguson, Michael Nissman as Gen. Sutherland, John Bennett Perry as Gen. MacArthur

Also starring: