The Principals: Demian Lichtenstein (director). Richard Recco. Demian Lichtenstein (writers). Kurt Russell. Kevin Costner. Courteney Cox. Christian Slater. Kevin Pollak. Thomas Haden Church. Ice-T. Howie Long. Bokeem Woodbine. David Arquette. Jon Lovitz (actors).
The Premise: A group of crooks rob a casino dressed as Elvis impersonators, and as things like this often go… soon they’re shooting each other in the face because greed is dangerous. Also: CGI scorpion battle.
Is it Good: I want to say it is. I like it, but I know good and well that it’s not a good movie. It’s a guilty pleasure, like when Barbra and Barry Gibb duet. I want it to be good. It’s quite well made, albeit overstylized as heck. It’s well cast, and Costner and Russell are as reliable as the tides. It’s just disjointed, ill at ease with the kind of film it needs to be, and it has CGI scorpions inexplicably intercut with the film’s opening moments.
My guess is that the director called in a favor and that favor was inexplicable CGI scorpions. And before you get excited, these are not motion captured performances of Klaus Meine and Michael Schenker but the little creepy anthropods turned into chrome effigy’s meant (one would assume) to represent the sparring leads.
The plot features two gritty protagonists on either side of the moral compass who may or may not be illegitimate spawns of The King and the story is basically a combo of crime flick, road movie, star-studded dumb entertainment, and advertisement for metallic invertebrates kicking each other’s ass disguised as polygons.
Yes I love this movie. Even though it hates good.
Is it Worth a Look: Absolutely.
Random Anecdotes: Howie Long gets shot full of holes and still has a long time to discuss shit. Luckily, none of his topics include Chevrolet. The black guy dies first. Costner’s sideburns are so amazing I find myself daydreaming about them. Whoever thought a subplot involving Kurt Russell spending time with a little crook kid was a good idea should be forced to spend time with a little crook kid. I’d watch a TV series with Thomas Haden Church and Kevin Pollak solving crimes. Ice-T’s idea of a covert attack tells us a lot about Ice-T as a strategist. Still trying to figure out the CGI scorpions. The little ‘quick draw’ scene with the cop is gold. Blowjob bubble-gum girl needs to be a real person.
Cinematic Soulmates: Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead. Smokin’ Aces. Things to Do in Graceland When You Realize it’s a Dumb Place. 16 Kilometers to Midian. Film critic Elvis Mitchell.
State of Play
Friday the 13th, Part 3