Recidivist hold-up man H.I. McDonnough and police woman Edwina marry, only to discover they are unable to conceive a child. Desperate for a baby, the pair decide to kidnap one of the quintuplets of furniture tycoon Nathan Arizona. The McDonnoughs try to keep their crime secret, while friends, co-workers and a feral bounty hunter look to use Nathan Jr. for their own purposes. Written by
Scott Renshaw <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Absolutely brilliant! Possibly the Coens brothers funniest movie.
I always say that my favourite Coen brothers movie is the last one I watched. A slight exaggeration, but as they have had very few real misses in their career it's easy to forget just how great most of their movies are. For me 'Raising Arizona' ties with 'The Big Lebowski' as their single most entertaining movie, and Arizona is arguably the funnier of the two if you are looking at sheer belly laughs. This movie is the Coen's most cartoonish and shows that they learned a lot from their involvement in Sam Raimi's 'The Evil Dead' and 'Crimewave'. The movie is full of fun, clever touches and infectious energy. It just never lets up. Calling a movie "a roller coaster ride" is a cliche, but it's a perfect description for this. The opening pre-credit sequence has more packed into it than most movies do in their complete running time! Nicholas Cage has recently got sidetracked making dumb action movies but back in the 80s and early 90s he was one of the most interesting and adventurous leading men in Hollywood, making unusual movies like 'Birdy', this, 'Vampire's Kiss' and 'Wild At Heart'. 'Adaptation' is a step back in the right direction for him. I hope he continues in this vein instead of say, 'Con Air 2'. Cage is just terrific as H.I. and I haven't enjoyed Holly Hunter as much in any other movie. Together they make one of the best on screen couples in many a moon. The supporting cast are all fantastic, especially John Goodman and William Forsythe as H.I.'s prison buddies. The psycho biker played by "Tex" Cobb is a also a brilliant touch. There are so many memorable bits in 'Raising Arizona' I could be here all day pointing them out. Just see for yourself. There were lots of lousy movies made in the 1980s, the Spielberg/Lucas/Simpson/Bruckheimer/John Hughes decade that dumbed down mainstream movies forever, but there were also thankfully some wonderfully inspired ones like this, 'Blue Velvet', 'Brazil', 'RoboCop', 'Repo Man', 'Eating Raoul', 'Beetlejuice', and 'The King Of Comedy'.
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