A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
Jerry works in his father-in-law's car dealership and has gotten himself in financial problems. He tries various schemes to come up with money needed for a reason that is never really explained. It has to be assumed that his huge embezzlement of money from the dealership is about to be discovered by father-in-law. When all else falls through, plans he set in motion earlier for two men to kidnap his wife for ransom to be paid by her wealthy father (who doesn't seem to have the time of day for son-in-law). From the moment of the kidnapping, things go wrong and what was supposed to be a non-violent affair turns bloody with more blood added by the minute. Jerry is upset at the bloodshed, which turns loose a pregnant sheriff from Brainerd, MN who is tenacious in attempting to solve the three murders in her jurisdiction. Written by
William H. Macy stated in an interview that, despite evidence to the contrary, he did hardly any ad-libbing at all. Most of his character's stuttering mannerisms were written in the script exactly the way he does them in the film. See more »
When Jerry drives the car and trailer into the parking lot, the only light is from the street lamps. When the camera moves from Jerry to some guys playing pool, natural light or daylight is coming in through the window. See more »
What is it about these movies from the Coen brothers which appeals to so many people? How can anyone enjoy a slow paced, over-the-top acted borefest with an impressive collection of the most annoying personalities available. Movies which don't seem to go anywhere despite the fact that there is plenty of story to go about. It must be something masochistic which I don't get.
Surely none of the characters are real life persons but yet I'm not watching a cartoon. None of the dialog seems to be of this Earth, yet I'm not watching a re-enactment of our planet by the inhabitants of Planet KzOrp. So I can only imagine that I'm watching a comedy or at least a movie with an attempt at humor. I mean, what else could it be? It's too preposterous to be a thriller and the characters and the screenplay are too bizarre to make it a drama.
I must have been misinformed about this genre of film. Because it has always been my understanding that a comedy had something to do with laughter and amusement. A ridiculous situation could become quite funny, but truly not when the whole movie is ridiculous as well. Same goes for the abominable, hateful characters.
If the movie Groundhog Day, arguably amongst the best comedies ever made, was made by the Coen brothers, they would have had the entire village reliving the same day over and over again. And not only that, they would have made every character in that movie be twice as arrogant (Murray), dorky (Larry) and desirable (MacDowell) etc. Its result would be the a monstrosity of a caricature .
This movie lacks everything what Groundhog Day makes a good comedy; namely finesse, subtlety and something which makes the viewer not being alienated from the characters and above all, something actually funny going on. (Since when is a kidnapping and a lot of deaths a funny setting? Because Buscemi and Macy are in it?..give me a break, this is hardly Pulp Fiction)
For a crime/thriller based on actual fact, it lacks a seriousness and perhaps even respect to the events that have taken place. And the lack of means of time-travel aside, watching Fargo, I was expecting Jeff Bridges to walk onto the set looking for his stupid rug which would have been my longed for queue to press the eject button.
So all in all it is not a comedy, it is not a crime/drama/thriller but simply a Coen production. To me it's just an incredibly annoying in-between-genre film which cannot decide what it's supposed to be. Therefore it misses the mark on all counts which make the redeeming qualities of the production (and there are a lot) seem sadly wasted.
But it seems to be the minority opinion the bandwagon ride is so comfy..
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