Fans of ‘Pushing Tin’ will have fond memories of the love/hate chemistry between John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton, which Ramis attempts to harness for darker use in this crime thriller. But Ramis – who brought in two screenwriters to adapt Scott Phillips’ novel – generally seems to be a better director of his own work. Cusack’s Charlie, we learn gradually, is a mob lawyer with interests in strip joints – both professional and otherwise. Thornton is his canny mate Vic, who’s talked him into stealing from his boss – it’s Christmas Eve, so who’s going to notice they’ve disappeared with the cash until it’s too late? But seems the mob do work Christmas after all, and Vic and Charlie are chased around Wichita’s seediest haunts in a haze of double-crossing. Comic touches occasionally amuse, but this doesn’t exploit Cusack’s wry delivery (which, in fairness, has shown signs of waning of late), leaving it to Thornton’s laconic cynicism to entertain. Problem is that both characters are so despicable, why should we care? Connie Nielsen’s sexy turn as a vampish strip-club owner simply isn’t enough to compensate.
|Release date:||Friday February 3 2006|
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Richard Russo, Robert Benton|
Billy Bob Thornton