In this disappointing would-be satirical comedy, Pacino plays Eli Wurman, a burning-out New York theatrical PR. With his habitual drug-taking, neglect of sleep, and medicine-cabinet lunches, he comes across like an ageing gonzo journalist, an imperfect soul resistant to the greater corruption around him. Director Algrant firmly plants Pacino centre stage, winds him up and lets him loose; and for a while this buttonholing actor's pontificatory patter, neurotic ramblings and whirlwind antics are sufficiently beguiling to hold the attention. But as the script steers the action into darker political thriller territory - Eli agrees to escort the abandoned friend (Leoni) of an old client with political aspirations (O'Neal) from an upmarket opium den - the movie loses focus and credibility. With its uncertainties of tone, this is a mess, full of misplaced performances (not least Basinger as Eli's supportive sister-in-law), misfires and moral inconsistencies. But its rebellious spirit is commendable.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||John Robin Baitz|
David Marshall Grant