STARK RAVING MAD

2 Stars
Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 100 minutes
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Besides being edgy and energetic, there’s little reason for this film to exist, as it’s just a second-rate American Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels knock-off.
Ben (Seann William Scott in his first leading, non-comic role) is the likeable National Geographic-obsessed (!) central character, working off the debt his dead brother owed to a local thug (Lou Diamond Phillips). And now he has one last chance to clear the slate by staging a rave next door to a bank that has a valuable statue in its vault. With the music pounding, Ben and his gang (Timm Sharp, Patrick Breen, John B Crye and Suzy Nakamura) will blast through the wall. But there lots of factors in their way, including the club’s cranky owner (Adam Arkin), a rival gang leader (Terry Chen), Ben’s bitter ex (Monet Mazur), a couple of FBI agents (Dave Foley and Kavan Smith) and a nymphomaniac 16-year-old (Reagan Dale Neis).
First the good news: The ensemble works nicely, with decent performances around the edges that keep us laughing nervously, even though nothing in the script is remotely funny (try as it might). The problem is that Scott is merely okay in the focal role, which is so badly written and directed than it would need a much more confident star to carry it off. Writers-directors Drew Daywalt and David Schneider simply lift every visual element from Guy Ritchie’s repertoire without adding anything original. Combined with the awkward and clunky script, this leaves the film feeling stale from the very beginning, no matter how cool and hip they want us to think it is.
They also have a terrible urge to find comedy in the least humorous situations–epilepsy, drugs, underage sex, bondage. And there’s even a split-screen sequence with robbers drilling the bank vault while a couple has sex. Ha ha. This general lack of creativity makes the film feel like an interminable waste of time.



Posted on October 26, 2002 in Reviews by
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