A couple of dudes from Philly find love in writer-director Tab Edwards’ feature film, The Kingfish 2: Work. What started as a pilot with The Kingfish has now expanded to a full-length story of love and positivity. The sequel continues the friendship of X (Xavier Edwards), Flip (Britt Starghill), and Bobby (Taylor Myrick). Now older, taller, and with deeper voices, our trio is asked by X’s sister to help at the donut shop for free.
Forget working for free. Bobby has an opportunity to meet up with Penny (Noelle Smith), a girl he just met. Bobby needs X and Flip as his wingmen for Penny’s other friends, Cupcake (Jordan Webber) and Freddie (Ayana Ferguson), as blind dates. Their meetup takes place at the Higher Grounds coffee shop, and the six teens muddle their way through awkward conversation, but through an extraordinary set of circumstances, the three boys and girls pair up in a very safe romance.
Serving them their coffee is a new employee, Jojo (Josephine Sincere). When she walks away, the six realize that she is pop star Josephine, who suddenly quit the biz and disappeared. But Jojo insists they are mistaken, though deep down, they know who she is. The group decides to reignite Josephine’s career by concocting a scheme to help Penny, Cupcake, and Freddie form a singing group called Penny Cupcake and enter the Urban X-Pressions Fest rising star contest. The girls are responsible for reeling in Jojo to X’s home for rehearsals.
The Kingfish 2: Work also follows the local North Philly mob boss, the titular Kingfish, who is out of BBQ ribs and enlists a local chef to supply him with more. The chef refuses to be part of Kingfish’s price gouging and unlimited rib scheme and decides to sell collard greens instead. A frustrated Kingfish goes to his last and final option for ribs.
“…decides to reignite Josephine’s career by concocting a scheme to help Penny, Cupcake, and Freddie form a singing group…”
OK. The plot is a bit strange, but from the original pilot, Edwards creates a tame tale of friendship against an over-the-top and equally tame mafia setting. The film is definitely for the younger pre-teen audience. As I was watching this comedy and its liberal use of thought bubbles, stylized transitions, and crazy dramatic setup, I was reminded of the 1990s Saved by the Bell series. Our characters find themselves in crazy situations, and each uses their personalities and education to find a way out.
The already-established dude trio, Bobby, Flip, and X, are still quite likable. Now add the even more likable and talented singing group in Penny, Freddie, and Cupcake. Then sprinkle in falling in love as dessert, and you have a family-friendly fable for young teens to watch.
The Kingfish 2: Work has your typical issues of a no-budget series with an inexperienced crew looking to get some. My only honest criticism is the editing, particularly around dialogue. It needs to be tighter, removing unnatural pauses between lines. You really want to go for a natural pacing when it comes to dialogue.
In an industry that pushes family-friendly content to indie filmmakers like Tab Edwards, The Kingfish 2: Work is just plain old fun with good old-fashioned family values. Who doesn’t need more examples of young people being nice and solving life’s problems together? We need it now and now more than ever.
The Kingfish 2: Work is now on Amazon Prime Video and coming soon to FilmRise, Fawsome, and Reveel. For more screening information, visit the Kingfish Show official website.
"…just plain old fun..."