Ernest 'Stick' Stickley returns from prison, and very soon he gets involved with his old friend in a drug-running deal that goes sour. Hired by a rich investor, he tries to walk the line, ...
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Ernest 'Stick' Stickley returns from prison, and very soon he gets involved with his old friend in a drug-running deal that goes sour. Hired by a rich investor, he tries to walk the line, but trouble follows him throughout as he tries to collect a debt and make up for lost time with his daughter. Stick also finds a new flame with a financial wiz and gets set to enjoy a new life, but Chucky and Nestor, the two hoods who owe him the debt, have other plans for Stick. Written by
When I read the novel I had no problem picturing Burt Reynolds as the charming and laconic ex-con. And supposedly Reynolds himself thought he was perfect for the part. Unfortunately, the studio demanded he re-shoot the second half of the picture, basically trading in Elmore Leonard's scam plot for brutal action. There's always something very satisfying about watching Burt kick ass, so even if I was wondering why anyone would want to trade Leonard's smart and funny writing for a run-of-the-mill action script, I still enjoyed the finale of Stick.
Still, the Ernest Stickley from the novel called for the more lighthearted Burt from Semi-Tough, Hooper and Rough Cut. I would have loved to have heard Burt deliver some of the smart-ass lines Leonard wrote for the character in the novel. Also, some scenes just don't make a whole lot of sense now, like Stick wanting to learn about investments from Kyle or the movie pitch scene. Both of these were pivotal in the book, but just go nowhere in the film.
There's a lot of good stuff though. The scene on the balcony is awesome, the scorpions were a nice touch (not in the book!) and I liked the way the murder in the beginning was handled, with Stick's subsequent getaway through the corn field.
If you like Burt Reynolds Stick is certainly worth your time, just don't expect a faithful adaptation.
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