‘Tulsa King’ review: Sylvester Stallone tries to rewind the clock on Paramount+.



CNN

Building on the success of “Yellowstone,” Paramount+ and producer Taylor Sheridan appear to have taken advantage of a streaming strategy based on casting veteran movie stars, an available commodity in an industry known for age Enter “Tulsa King,” a lean vehicle for Sylvester Stallone that’s a little too overtly designed like a mobster fish out of water.

Stallone’s Dwight Manfredi (who says he was named after Eisenhower, no less) is released back into the world after 25 years in prison, only to discover that those who run the mob in his old stomping grounds of Nova York, some of whom were “children”. “at least to him, when he left to protect them – I don’t want him around.

“You have nothing left here,” says the new boss (“The Wire’s” Domenick Lombardozzi), noting, “We can’t just rewind the clock.”

Conceptually, though, that’s exactly what “Tulsa King” does, or at least tries to do, by banishing Dwight to the dreary confines of Oklahoma. Before long, he quickly hires a driver (Jay Will) and tries to prove he can keep winning even indoors, and to start a business relationship with the local pot dispensary.

Dwight isn’t above punching people when they deserve it, which can come in handy in negotiations, determined to prove to the homeboys that if he can get there, he’ll make it anywhere.

“Tulsa King” turns out to be a rather odd mix of attributes, relying almost entirely on Stallone’s movie star charisma, as the show alternates between sitcom conventions and “The Sopranos” flourishes ” rated R. When a woman meets him and then tells him she thought he was 55 (the cop is 20 years older than that), it’s clear that a little ego-stroking is part of the formula, too.

While Stallone holds the screen, some of the sitcom touches are weak and too obvious, with Dwight acting like he’s unfamiliar with anything that happened on the outside during his time behind bars, shaking his head with mobile phones, credit cards and stores that do not accept cash, their preferred means of transacting.

As noted, streaming in general, and Paramount in particular, have become havens for bigger stars, with Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren in the “Yellowstone” prequel “1932” next month. Following Stallone’s other recent streaming venture with the Amazon movie ‘Samaritan’, the fact that the poster features his name in big letters above the title makes it clear what they’re selling here, and with streamers calling out attention, it’s not a bad fight. plan

In that regard, “Tulsa King” suggests that maybe you can rewind the clock, just a little bit, even if you’re going to fly a little lower now.

“Tulsa King” opens November 13 on Paramount+.

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