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Jimmy Alto is an actor wannabe who stumbles into the role of a lifetime. He becomes a vigilante crime-fighter, aided by his sidekick William, who has suffered a head wound and has problems with short-term memory. Jimmy's vigilante alter ego soon becomes a media wonder--but Jimmy remains a total unknown and his long-suffering girl friend Lorraine is getting fed up with the whole situation. Written by
Jimmy (Joe Pesci) is an actor in Hollywood, scraping a living from his girlfriend and some casual jobs waiting for his big break. Most of his time is spent with drifter amnesiac William (Slater). When they catches a thief they video him and drop him off at a police station with a note from the SOS. When the SOS is given media coverage as a vigilante group, Jimmy finds himself drawn into the role of the leader of the fictitious gang leader and finds the media recognition he's always craved. However he must continue his role in order to maintain the coverage. However as the police gradually put more resources onto finding the leader of this gang, Jimmy finds himself crossing the line of acting the role and being the role.
Levinson wrote and directed this and it is obvious he's trying to say something. It's a satire of something - I'm just not sure what. Is he trying to say that the once-great LA has been ruined by crime and bad acting? Is it a satire on celebrity - where Jimmy becomes successful for bad reasons? Is it at poke a actors who work as waiters and kid themselves that they're getting somewhere? I'm not sure but I think it's a broad satire on celebrity and the nature of LA, and as such it's not great. The main story of Pesci is not clever enough to make as many good points as it could. At times it seem that it only really has a few points to make and paints them on thick.
Pesci is good as Jimmy - but it's really the same sort of hyper character he always plays. Slater is good as William and plays the dopey forgetful type well. The problem here is not with the actors or the direction (which is good) but with the script. The film is just not a great satire - it tries to cover similar ground as "The King of Comedy" but is too baggy and unfocused to make it's point well.
Joe Pesci is no De Niro, Jimmy is no Pupkin and this is no "King of Comedy". As a film it's entertaining enough but it is a bit laborious towards the end and is not as clever as it thinks it is. Overall an entertaining film that doesn't totally deliver when it comes to putting it's points across.
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