Review: The Polka King

Title: The Polka King
MPAA Rating: TV-14
Director: Maya Forbes
Starring: Jack BlackJenny SlateJason Schwartzman
Runtime: 1 hr 35 mins

What It Is: Jan Lewan (Black) is the “Polka King of Pennsylvania” but polka doesn’t pay. Well not well enough for the Polish immigrant. He’s opened a souvenir shop as well run by his former beauty queen wife Marla (Slate). Even that doesn’t satisfy his demanding mother-in-law Barb (Jackie Weaver). In order to continue to build on HIS American dream, Jan begins taking investments from his elderly fans. This, of course, turns in to a slippery slope for the man seen as Pennsylvania music royalty.

What We Think: Jack Black is really good in this, even if his accent is uneven and obnoxious. Jenny Slate is her usual fantastic self. I think she kind of steals some scenes from Jack Black and that’s not an easy feat by any means. Overall there’s a ton to be said about this script which is pretty good and based on the actual events that occurred in Jan Lewan’s life. What a crazy few years it was! Corruption, pageant fixing, bribery. It’s just too bad the film isn’t as good as the source material seems. If you want a Jack Black film based on real events check out Bernie instead.

Our Grade: C, So…this mediocre film is brought to us once again by the wonderful folks at Netflix. The streak continues! I will say that Jason Schwartzman can do no wrong! Even in hipster twee weirdness like 7 Chinese Brothers or a “comedy” like The Overnight he shines. This guy is good wherever you put him. Regardless you can skip this one. While not a total disaster there just isn’t enough here to keep attention. Maybe watch a better film on Netflix…one they haven’t produced.


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