Pete Davidson appears to have found his comfort zone in 'The King of Staten Island'


One of the countless films to premiere straight to on-demand during the pandemic, Judd Apatow and Pete Davidson’s The King of Staten Island finally has its first trailer. The movie, which loosely mirrors Davidson’s own struggles with grief from losing his father on 9/11, makes for the actor’s first proper big screen starring vehicle.

Davidson stars as Scott, a deadbeat Staten Island tattoo artist caught in a perpetual rut following the death of his firefighter father. Early in the trailer, he gets high and strains laughter through wisecracks about his father’s death — some of Davidson’s most familiar stand-up material. Although he’s content to just stay the course, everyone else in Scott’s life is moving on to something new, whether it’s his mother dating a new firefighter (Bill Burr) or his sister leaving for college while he hooks up with his best friend-with-benefits. Although Apatow tends to lump his dramatic tension in the final act, the trailer for The King of Staten Island appears to be something a bit more uniformly reflective.

I’ve long felt more concern than interest in Davidson, the type of guy who probably wasn’t equipped to become as famous as he did so quickly. Even more concerning is the prospect of another Apatow feature ambling past the two hour mark, this time clocking in at a comparatively lean 136 minutes. Apatow, a director responsible for a great run of highs spanning The 40 Year Old Virgin to Funny People, also delivered one of the worst scenes I’ve seen in a movie near the end of Trainwreck. I’ll be the last person to dismiss long movies wholesale, but there needs to be a limit somewhere for navel-gazing dramedy.

The film, which also stars Marisa Tomei, Steve Buscemi, Bel Powley, and Machine Gun Kelly, will be available to rent on-demand starting June 12.