Jay Mohr

Suicide Kings

Year: 1997
Directed By: Peter O’Fallon
Written By: Josh McKinney, Gina Goldman, and Wayne Allan Rice (screenplay), Don Stanford (short story)

RYAN’S REVIEW

One of my favorite scenes of all time features Chistopher Walken playing a mob boss, so naturally this has always been a movie that appeals to me. This is a fascinating movie where these rich kids get it in there head to do about the craziest thing possible. In order to rescue a kidnapped sister they decide to perform their own kidnapping. They pick the most outrageous and insane person to kidnap and the scene is set.

This group of rich kids really bite off more than they can chew when they chose a mafia don as a person to extort. The stakes raise dramatically when not only have they kidnapped a powerful and dangerous man, but they’ve cut one of his fingers off to boot. They have an outrageous justification for what they’re doing but truthfully it makes little sense. These guys think that the sister of one of them has been kidnapped and in order to rescue her they kidnap a man who has both the money for the ransom and the resources to get her home safely. It’s a crazy idea to begin with but they really go too far when they decide that any harm that befalls the girl will also befall the Don.

This movie pulls you in with a cool and interesting story but it keeps you with a really rich cast. Christopher Walken is the Don and he thrives in that role. He has that classy quality that works well for him when he is the dignified Don being shown to his usual table. He also has that cool quality that starts to make all the boys like him a little bit when they are holding him hostage. Making him an even cooler mob boss is his number one henchman played by Denis Leary. I’m a big fan of Leary and this movie is a great example of his talent as he improvised most of his own dialogue.

Of these rich kids you have Thomas Henry, better known as E LI OTtrying desperately to continue acting as a grown up. Jay Mohr is the muscle of the group, going against his typical comedy and playing the wanna be tough guy that insist on keeping the Don at gunpoint. Jeremy Sisto is the smarter guy of the group trying to keep the Don alive with his premed skills. Sean Patrick Flanery, the Boondock Saint himself, is the cool guy with all the secrets. Then rounding up this group of youngsters is Johnny Galecki performing in such a typical Johnny Galecki fashion. I used to like Galecki but he is such a whiney actor and no different here.

The scene was set, things are crazy enough with a kidnapped and slightly dismembered mafia Don, but the movie cleverly ups the stakes. Turns out once the Don starts exercising his resources he finds out this whole thing is an inside job. One of the rich kids has turned on and set up his buddies but you don’t know who. The entry of mystery into the story makes a film that has already sucked you in maintain your attention.

I think this is an interesting movie and I have always liked it. It doesn’t really inspire much to say in me but some movies are just cool to kick back and enjoy. This movie kept me on the edge of my seat the first time I saw it and I still find myself edging forward upon multiple viewings. I think it is easily worth your time to see.

NEXT MOVIE: The Sum of All Fears (2002)

Since I mentioned it earlier here is a clip of one of my favorite scenes of all time. Clever dialogue from a man who has made a career of writing clever dialogue. Written by Quentin Tarantino, Directed by Tony Scott, and performed by Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, and  with a young Tony Soprano looming in the background:

Advertisements

Street Kings

Year: 2008
Directed By: David Ayers
Written By: James Ellroy, Kurt Wimmer, and Jamie Moss

RYAN’S REVIEW

This movie came out at just the right time to get my attention. My favorite TV show of all time, The Shield, aired its final season in the fall of 2008. When this movie came out in the spring of 08 I was eagerly waiting to see how it all finished up. This movie was very similar and gave me a dirty cop fix when I was itching for some corrupt action.

Keanu Reeves played the Vic Mackey part in this movie and the movie starts right off trying to establish him as this anti hero we see so often in television. The guy has issues. He gets out of bed fully clothed, pukes a little bit, and then cleans his gun before hitting the liquor store. Then it’s straight to the streets to do the job. He’s only a little boozed up but good to go with his street talk as he enters the dirty deals that go on late in the streets. He has no problem taking an ass whooping in order to set up the bad guys. When he goes to take care of business the action doesn’t disappoint as he Vic Mackey’s the bad guys and the crime scene. Maybe this guy has unorthodox methods, maybe he drinks too many of those tiny booze bottles, but when women are trapped in closets he’s the one whose going to save them.

I love these dirty cop stories but they are all too similar more often than not. Bad cop sets up the bad guys, kills them all, plants evidence, and saves the innocence. In the aftermath there are investigations and eventually some larger conspiracy going on. The irony is that bad cop isn’t bad enough to consider joining the conspiracy and he becomes determined to bring the whole thing down. I’m always pulling for the bad cop. What they do is wrong, but who among us wouldn’t do the same thing? It’s easy to say you would always do the right thing but at one point bad cop was probably a good guy too. He started out as a good guy and got hardened by the realities of the job. After so many years on the job he’s just out to cut through all the red tape and do what needs to be done.

Terry Crews plays the inevitable Serpico good cop who still cares, or is out for revenge. It hardly matters which when he’s snitching on our anti-hero. He seems to be doing pretty good for a cop given he’s driving a Cadillac SUV, but he doesn’t make it long. As Ice Cube once said “snitches get stitches,” or in this case about a thousand bullets to the chest. Nevertheless this murder doesn’t fly with bad cop Keanu, and there’s your larger conspiracy. I think it’s a bit strange that Keanu, as the best bad cop, wouldn’t have been involved in this larger conspiracy of bad cops.

Forest Whitaker is fantastic in this movie. I specifically like it because he plays a role that is the complete opposite of the role he played on The Shield. He was a real badass on The Shield, an Internal Affairs detective out to get Vic Mackey and he had us all scared for a while. It was season 5 and Vic was really going down, no way he could get out from under Forest Whitaker. As bad ass as he was though, he couldn’t catch Vic. He got to play the bad cop in this movie and that’s one of the things I really liked about it. I’ve never been a fan of Forest Whitaker but I loved him on The Shield and have been more of a fan since then.

The cast in this movie is really deep and that’s another thing I like about it. Not a fan of Hugh Laurie because I never watched House but he brought some cool charisma to the cast. Chris Evans is always great and I like him partnering up with bad cop Keanu as he investigates whose really bad. Jay Mohr is great in the background as the mustache cop whose is quietly more of a bad cop than bad cop Keanu. This guy is always around, he was named Ronnie on The Shield. Cedric the Entertainer makes a cool appearance and so does Common. I have always been a fan of Common and I think he makes for a cool gangster.

As far as bad cop movies go this one isn’t really exceptional but there are a lot of things I still like about it. It makes for a cool action movie with plenty of exciting scenes. Holy shit the heat really rises quickly when Chris Evans takes one in the throat. Great shoot out scene that ends with Keanu using a refrigerator as a shield and shooting Common in the face.

Uh oh, he’s been set up, classic. Common and his associate were undercover cops? His friends are suddenly arresting him and probably taking him to his execution. They of course explain everything before killing him but of course bad cop Keanu has a cuff key. Bad cop Keanu has transitioned from bad cop into badass rogue out for justice. Ready to die in a blaze of glory in order to do whats right because doing what’s right is all he has left. Even tied at the hands and ankles he can overcome certain death. All the badass rogue needs is a shovel and a real bad guy’s gun to fall right into his hands.

I’m really impressed with Forest Whitaker going toe to toe with Neo in a fight scene. Of course badass rogue’s fight to the top leads to his mentor and boss. Oh how typical these stories go but it’s a cool fight scene and this has been a cool action movie. Even when Forest Whitaker is caught the sad reality is he is too powerful to tear down. He’s the man behind the curtain pulling the strings of Oz. Badass rogue can’t let such a man get away, he’ll never be brought to justice because justice is corrupt. Gotta kill the bad guy and I like that about this movie too. Although the movie should end with his arrest I like that Hugh Laurie is able to save him in the end.

This is the exact movie that gets lost in the library of time. Nothing really stands out about it and not many people watched it. It’s a cool movie though and I stand by it. It may be typical but sometimes you just need to sit back and watch a little action. This is a good movie for that. I think it is worth your time to see it.

NEXT MOVIE: Stripes (1981)