King of the Jungle | Chicago Reader

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John Leguizamo is a retarded man-boy living with his political activist mother (Julie Carmen) and her lesbian lover (Rosie Perez) in this message-heavy feature written and directed by Seth Zvi Rosenfeld. The mother organizes rallies against police brutality on Manhattan's Upper West Side and clashes with her ex-husband, a derelict poet (Cliff Gorman), over their son's upbringing. But Rosenfeld needs to kill her off to score points for nonviolence and parental responsibility, and afterward the story becomes less plausible, its combustible urban drama settling into a prolonged, teary search for reconciliation. Leguizamo's Oscar-mongering performance is brilliant in spots, yet his twitching, grimacing, writhing character often seems like a parody of Forrest Gump. With cameos by Marisa Tomei and Annabella Sciorra. 93 min.

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