Money isn’t everything, but the desperate need for it can sure feel that way. Vic Kelly (Christopher Walken) runs a struggling auto repair shop. Though he used to be a master safecracker, he wants to live the honest life after a stint in prison. In this, he has the help and support of his daughter (Verma Farmiga) and his girlfriend (Cyndi Lauper). One day, a previously unknown, long lost cousin from Ireland turns up on Vic’s doorstep. Michæl (Peter McDonald) believed Vic to be a big time criminal and is more than a little disappointed with the real thing. Upon meeting a couple of idiot security guard acquaintances of Vic, the newly formed brain-trust hatch a “can’t lose” caper that requires the former criminal’s skills. Losing the money battle, he reluctantly agrees. Hilarity ensues.
Writer/director Myles Connell has previous directed episodes of “Homicide”. The same naturalistic approach actually undercuts the material work better as film noir (much like Barbet Schroeder’s remake of “Kiss of Death”). The desperation isn’t tangible enough. Walken is unfortunately dulled down a bit and the movie doesn’t really pick up until we meet fellow criminal Tom Noonan who calls Vic’s partners upon their retarded criminal fantasies. If only he were there more. Overall the best I can say is that the film is at least inoffensive, which is not the best recommendation for a caper flick.
Posted on February 6, 2000 in Reviews by Ron Wells
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