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Destiny Turns on the Radio (1995)

Johnny Destiny burns into Las Vegas in his hot Plymouth RoadRunner, stopping only to pick up a stranger stranded in the desert. But then, things aren't always as they seem. Anything can ... See full summary »

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Cast

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Thoreau (as James LeGros)
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Tuerto (as James Belushi)
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Storyline

Johnny Destiny burns into Las Vegas in his hot Plymouth RoadRunner, stopping only to pick up a stranger stranded in the desert. But then, things aren't always as they seem. Anything can happen in that town of many possibilities...especially since there's been some weird electrical disturbances. As the stranger, fresh out of prison, tries to put his life back together--to recover his money from an old bank heist and the girl he lost in doing the job--something keeps interfering with his plans. Is it fate...or just Destiny? Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fate visits in ways you never expect. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Comedy | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Destiny - Hoher Einsatz in Las Vegas  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$1,176,982 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Quentin Tarantino signed on the dotted line to appear in this film two days before his Pulp Fiction (1994) won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. See more »

Connections

References Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Just my imagination (running away with me)
Performed by Booker T and the MG's
Written by Norman Whitfield (as Norman I. Whitfield) and Barrett Strong
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

Destiny turns on the celebs involved with this and laughs at them -- a very mediocre movie
26 September 2004 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

I don't know what convinced Quentin Tarantino to take a role in 'Destiny Turns on the Radio,' nor do I really want to. Essentially it is a rip-off of his ultra-popular "Pulp Fiction," released in 1994, only that movie had a point and this one does not. Dylan McDermott heads an all-star cast as a crook that is let out of jail, only to find his old pal (James LeGros) has lost their cash to a mysterious wanderer named Johnny Destiny (Quentin Tarantino), hence the title.

However, things aren't as clear as they seem to be. Sure, the movie's title is easily explanatory – but what on earth Johnny Destiny stands for (other than, of course, destiny), why he's there, who he really is, what he's doing, why he wants to do what he's doing – none of it is explained.

Furthermore none of it is ambiguous like 'Donnie Darko,' where we enjoy guessing and forming our own conclusions. Nope, it's just stupid and guessing what any of it means wastes too many precious brain cells that doesn't deserve to be burnt on such lousy, paper-thin material.

It's like someone, somewhere, said, 'Let's make a movie with Quentin Tarantino. It'll have no plot, we'll just have some weird characters interact and tell jokes and entertain the audience.' Entertaining, perhaps, but not in a good way.

The ending stinks of studio interference and more often than not the movie is just downright confusing. It could very easily be one of the worst films of all time, if not for the fact that it is rather sporadically amusing at times (its strongest traits of very little) and there are some OK performances from James Belushi and LeGros. The rest of the cast is a dud -- Tarantino tries, but fails, in a cameo-sized role. He's flamboyant and obviously savoring the opportunity to pay homage to all the cool-cat characters of classic cinema, but it's soon revealed that his character, Johnny, is just plain strange and unlikable. I expected to feel something – anything – when he appeared on-screen, but I didn't. Co-star McDermott in particular is just plain awful, lacking the charisma required for the role. Often appearing in made-for-television movies, McDermott once again establishes the fact that he's not the sort of actor you'd wan

Dialogue is stiff (stuff like "kiss me, baby" manages to sneak in). Overall it's just a goofy movie that thinks it's a lot cleverer than it is -- not awful because it doesn't take itself too seriously and is fun sometimes, but overall just a big mess of various ideas that clash together. A pure marketing scheme, cashing in on Tarantino's image no less.

I did enjoy one performance, in particular -- James LeGros ("Phantasm II"), who reminded me of Barney from "The Flintstones." A likable actor playing a likable character with depth -- too bad he had to waste his talent on a movie that is otherwise so very thin.


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