Palookaville

Film

Comedy

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Time Out says

Russ, Sid and Jerry are at wit's end: they're broke, unemployed, and prepared to turn a blind eye to legal niceties. Yet burglary may not be for them. They over-shoot the local jewellery store and break into the pastry shop next door - a sticky situation, especially for Russ, whose brother-in-law's a cop. An armoured car robbery suggests itself, if only they can work up the necessary gumption, but these guys may be too good to be bad - or just too bad at being bad. A gentle comic fable, this follows the trials of three not-so wiseguys and finds them fundamentally innocent. It's hardly an original idea - that criminal negligence can be funny - but Taylor, his screenwriter David Epstein and a winning cast headed by Gallo (Russ), Trese (Jerry) and Forsythe (Sid) find a fresh angle on it, fruitfully exploiting the discrepancy between a macho gun culture and the impotence of these men's lives. The film makes time for a handful of delicious, delicately observed comic digressions; and Taylor captures an eloquent slice of New Jersey lowlife: Springsteen with laughs. All very nice. But Gallo's charged, explosive presence spikes the punch - he gives the whimsy some kick.
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Release details

UK release:

1995

Duration:

92 mins

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