Rated 2.0

Turkish-born, French-raised writer-director Deniz Gamze Ergüven follows her passionate and personal debut film Mustang with this clumsy and chaotic drama set against the backdrop of the 1991 Los Angeles riots. Halle Berry ostensibly stars as a South Central foster mother trying to care for her brood of hellcats, while Daniel Craig plays a grumpy neighbor with a heart of gold, but in truth they’re relatively minor players in the ensemble. As in Mustang, Ergüven is more interested in the raw energy of young people rebelling against the limitations of their world, but what once felt fresh and honest now comes across as completely phony. Incoherence abounds (I’m still not certain if the story spanned a year or two weeks), and one jaw-droppingly bad scene after the next lands with a loud thud. With several great documentaries about the LA riots having been released in recent years, Kings becomes even more unnecessary.