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Tulsa King review – Sylvester Stallone gets his first ever TV role! As a slow-moving 75-year-old gangster

The movie star’s televisual debut is full of fun, retro energy and action hero-lite antics, as he plays a veteran mobster trying to take over Oklahoma. Just don’t expect innovation Do you know what I hate? I hate it when you spend 25 years in prison keeping shtum for your New York mafia family and on your release they exile you to Oklahoma with some nonsense about it being virgin mob territory and yours for the taking, instead of reinstating you as the capo dei capi’s righthand man. On this matter, Dwight Manfredi (Sylvester Stallone – yes, that Sylvester Stallone) and I are as one. That, alas, is 75-year-old Dwight’s situation at the beginning of 76-year-old Stallone’s first television venture, Tulsa King (Paramount+). Essentially a pragmatist, he simply punches the new capo unconscious, packs his bag and heads to the Sooner State. There he is startled by grasshoppers, baffled by the youthful slang of his cab driver Tyson (Jay Will), and quickly intrigued by the legal pot dispensary on the outskirts of town. Before they’ve even got to his hotel, he has had Tyson pull over and wait while he nips in and establishes the first node in what I’m sure will soon be a flourishing protection racket. Emerging with his first 20% weekly cash cut from owner Bodhi (Martin Starr), he chucks a wad of notes at Tyson, appoints him his personal driver for $2,000 a week and tells him to buy a Navigator by tomorrow. The hotel receptionist introduces him to the concept of an Uber and apps when he wants to go out that evening. I could ask if we are meant to assume he has been in solitary confinement rather than merely incarcerated for the last quarter of a century, but I remember trying to explain telephone banking to my 70-odd-year-old parents (who have not served any time in prison) and realise that any amount of technical ignorance they want to heap on Dwight is probably only fair. Continue reading...

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