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Overall Rating

Awesome: 25%
Worth A Look45.83%
Average: 12.5%
Pretty Bad: 12.5%
Total Crap: 4.17%

1 review, 18 user ratings

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Suicide Kings
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by Brian McKay

"Bug-eyed Jack Christopher Walken Elevates 'Suicide Kings'"
4 stars

God Bless Christopher Walken. He can make even a shitty movie watchable, and a good movie border on greatness. His performance is the high point of "Suicide Kings", the freshman film debut of T.V. director Peter O'Fallon. While this is a fairly average and predictable comedy-mystery, it is raised a notch by the likes of Walken, Denis Leary, and the supporting cast.

O'Fallon has a fairly mixed bag of a T.V. Resume' (including "Northern Exposure", "Thirtysomething", "Party of Five", "American Gothic", and "Profiler"). He brings to "Suicide Kings" a slick and polished product, and while this little gem is not without flaws, it has already earned a well-deserved cult following.

The film is aptly-named after five characters who decide to kidnap "retired" mafioso Carlo "just call me Charlie" Bartolucci. Obviously, they must be suicidal (he's a mafia Don and he looks like Christopher Walken - would YOU want to fuck with him?). While Bartolucci is astonished by both the boldness and stupidity of his captors, he finds their bungling perpetration somewhat amusing.

It turns out that the five young idiots have kidnapped Bartolucci not for profit, but for leverage. A young woman named Elise has been kidnapped. Elise just happens to be the sister of Avery (Henry Thomas - little Elliott from "E.T." is all growed up) and the fiancee' of Max (Sean Patrick Flannery - Young Indiana Jones is also all growed up). The group of five friends are united in the kidnapping of Bartolucci by "mastermind" Brett (Jay Mohr, of the regrettably short-lived sitcom "Action").

Their request of Bartolucci is simple. They want him to use his connections to help them find the kidnappers and rescue Elise. If he is unable to do that in time, then they will ransom him back to his people for the cost of paying off Elise's kidnappers. Charlie offers them the chance to let him go with no grudges held, "Before this gets so fucked up that nobody could possibly recover from it." They, of course, turn down his reasonable offer, and many plot twists and hijinks ensue. Meanwhile, Charlie's bodyguard, Lono Veccio (Denis Leary), is busy trying to track down his boss's kidnappers. His professional pride badly wounded, he is in highly pissed-off mode, which means that Leary is in rare comedic form.

After "bonding" with his captors and analyzing their personalities, Charlie is soon able to deduce that the real mastermind behind the kidnapping of Elise is one of the five friends, at which point the kidnappers begin to turn against each other, adding to Charlie's amusement. While the film tries to shroud Elise's kidnapper's identity, it is fairly obvious to the attentive audience member which one is behind it. This makes some of the twists seem somewhat forced, and the film is further bogged down in places by a few red herrings and wooden performances. However, it redeems itself with the ending, which does not cop out in typical Hollywood fashion, and is refreshingly appropriate.

If you want the kind of mystery thriller with elaborate twists and an ending you'll never see coming, try "Memento" or "The Sixth Sense". But what this film lacks in the whodunit department, it makes up for with the wisecracking Walken and Leary, who prove themselves once again as two of the greatest, and most underappreciated, actors/comedians in the business.

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originally posted: 06/05/01 21:39:42
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User Comments

12/17/13 Dane Youssef Too much taken from Tarantino. Not enough from the personal source. Never believable. 2 stars
10/23/08 brian Some hilarious moments but a nonsense plot and they had no idea how to end it. 3 stars
8/25/07 travis highly underrated little gem 5 stars
5/07/07 Tracey Chambers denis leary and christopher walken, what more do you need 5 stars
5/10/06 Frazier Walken rocks. Again. Solid cast 4 stars
10/20/05 Agent Sands Completely contrived, with a terribly terribly terribly terribly done ending. 2 stars
4/30/05 Hack-SAW It's worth seeing Denis Leary... HE'S FUCKIN' AWESOME~!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/13/04 Naka Nothing phenomanal, but a fully engrossing watch. Final half is excellent. 4 stars
12/09/04 R.W. Welch Plot line is a stretch but acting is grade A. 3 stars
10/07/04 Elizaveta fun, holds your interest 4 stars
5/06/04 Samantha orr Meh... I was kinda expecting better, but I'd watch anything with Chris Walken. 3 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby Walken's in fine form, but the story and characters are for the birds! 2 stars
4/01/03 Rebecca Good dialogue, Great actors (Walken/Leary), but Bad plot, and Very Bad (and Cheesy) romance 4 stars
8/29/02 Hessian Well worth watching. Wlaken rocks. 4 stars
7/23/02 snowconehead Yes he is. 5 stars
7/19/01 xshe_wolfx Christopher Walken is one hell of an actor!!! 1 stars
6/06/01 The Bomb 69 excellent movies with great performances, especially Walken 5 stars
6/04/01 Basil Good movie with excellent twists. 5 stars
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  17-Apr-1998 (R)



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