Charlie (Michael Douglas) has just returned from a two-year mental facility visit. His self reliant daughter Miranda (Evan Rachel Wood) refuses to even acknowledge that he is in fact her father. Charlie becomes obsessed with finding hidden gold left by Spanish missionaries. Believing that he has deciphered a code, he sets off on a journey to hunt down the buried treasure, somehow sucking his daughter into his maddening odyssey. The climax leads them on a hilarious laugh-out-loud mission to break into a Cost-co.
Produced by Alexander Payne, yo would probably never guess that King of California is the first feature effort from Mike Cahill. It looks like the work of a glossy well-trained and experienced professional. Michael Douglas is so fantastically insane as Charlie and Evan Rachel Wood continues to expand and impress.
A mixture of Bottle Rocket, National Treasure and One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, California is an enjoyable escape from the down and out depressing Sundance usual. But it’s probably too mainstream for most festival-goers.
/Film Rating: 6.5 out of 10