Tomorrow, Paramount+ unveils its next Australian drama in Last King Of The Cross, inspired by the best-selling memoir by John Ibrahim. Although inspired by Ibrahim’s memoir, this 10-episode series contains several characters and events that are entirely fictitious.
When the series opens, John (Lincoln Younes) is visiting his dad in the hospital, but it’s clear that John’s relationship with his family is frayed. Flashing back to John’s formative years as a child in worn-torn Tripoli, Lebanon in 1978, through to the arrival of the family in Sydney, Australia, during the 1980s, these lay the foundation for his story of how he came to be described by the Royal Commission into Police Corruption in 1995, as the new King of the Cross…
It’s 1987 in Sydney’s Western suburbs and money is tight. John’s brother Sam (Calude Jabbour) is a legendary enforcer in Kings Cross, carrying out duties for the head of the Kings Cross protection racket, Nasa Kalouri (Wadih Dona). 15-year-old John (Malek Alkoni) is keen to follow in his older brother’s footsteps and improve his life. Despite Sam’s advice to stay away, John visits the Cross, striking up a friendship with Brett (Wesley Patten), a street kid who brings John into the orbit of Ezra Shipman (Tim Roth), who controls the Cross.
It’s not long before John gets tangled up in the jungle of Kings Cross as he starts to build a small crew of misfits and begins his first moneymaking enterprise in the Cross.
The first 2 episodes, watched for this review, is written by Kieran Darcy-Smith and is compellingly written with even more compelling performances, especially by Younes who shines despite limited screen time in the opening hour . Alkoni is also a face to watch in the future. But there is a range of performances from Roth and Jabbour through latter instalments.
Last King Of The Cross is definitely one to watch as it explores the complex nature of brotherly relationships, the cost of success, and the power that comes with it.
The first two episodes of Last King Of The Cross premiere Friday, 17 February on Paramount+, with a new episode every week.