Very Bad Things

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The writing/directing debut of actor Peter Berg (from The Last Seduction) is a black comedy about a stag trip to Las Vegas that ends in the accidental death of a prostitute, and the murder of the hotel security man who notices her body. Jon Favreau is understandably anxious that his imminent marriage to control freak Cameron Diaz is ruined, but ruthless, self-serving Christian Slater insists all will be well if they just dispose of the 'problems'. He's only half right: the law seems to pose no threat, but guilt, mutual distrust and fear of discovery inevitably - and predictably - take their toll on the five friends and their wives. However, despite a frantic pace, snazzy visuals and the eager embrace of supposedly outrageous bad taste, this isn't very funny. Berg seems so keen to shock us with his laddish amorality (or is that what he's satirising? - if so, it doesn't come off) that the tone soon turns sour and tiresomely hysterical. The film lacks both the goofy, charmingly juvenile innocence of the Farrelly brothers' work, and the rigour that makes, say, Clouzot's misanthropic fables about the wages of sin compelling from beginning to end.

Release details

Duration: 100 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Peter Berg
Screenwriter: Peter Berg
Cast: Cameron Diaz
Christian Slater
Jon Favreau
Jeanne Tripplehorn
Daniel Stern
Jeremy Piven
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