New York City police detective John Shaft (nephew of the original 1970s detective) goes on a personal mission to make sure the son of a real estate tycoon is brought to justice after a racially-motivated murder.
Samuel L. Jackson,
Jimmy Kilmartin's an ex-con who's trying to go straight. But he can't say no to a quick driving job because his so called friend's life is threatened. The job is for Little Junior Brown, a violent and powerful villain. When things go wrong, Jimmy is left to do the time, and his whole life is turned upside-down, but if that wasn't enough, the cops won't leave Jimmy alone when he gets out... They want 'Little Junior' Written by
Rob Hartill, corrected by Lex Gustafsson
My friend made me watch this and I found it to be a surprisingly entertaining movie. It's a remake of a 1940s film noir, but I haven't seen that one. Here David Caruso plays the typical gangster-gone-straight in order to support his new family, but one of his friends (played by Michael Rappaport) pulls him in for one last deal which (unsurprisingly) screws him over big time.
The casting here is absolutely phenomenal. The performances by all the lead actors are some of their best: Nicholas Cage, Stanley Tucci, David Caruso and Michael Rappaport all bring serious color to the story. It is clear here that the careful casting makes a big difference. I'd like to say one performance in particular stands out (maybe Nicholas Cage, in one of his best roles ever) but everyone pulls their weight. Michael Rappaport, despite staying in his typical character role, manages to play the most loathsome character in the film! Even the villains have more humanity to them than he does...
The story is good too. It's not original, but very well done. Many classic crime twists are provided in ways one doesn't expect and there are some plot points that are only alluded to, not blatantly shown (i.e. the reason certain characters get knocked off, etc.). It also gives us a good rundown on the inside of a corrupt court system which only protects ex-cons if there's a profit to be made.
And to top it off, despite the criminal element and violence, there is a cool sense of humor to several scenes. Little Junior's (Nicholas Cage) mourning scene stands out as a highlight. And then the way the movie ends, you'd think you were watching Beethoven or something. Hee hee, and Stanley Tucci was in that one too!
It's not some critically acclaimed showboating from the '90s, like American Beauty, The Usual Suspects, and so on, but it is a solid little '90s period piece.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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