Best Men (1997)
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I can see why some people did not like it. They expected a comedy and got a drama instead. It has a bit of comedy in it, but I guess people were expecting more. The lines recited from Shakespeare are extremely well chosen and just right for the movie. This, by the way, encouraged me to read Hamlet.
The role of Drew Barrymore is small, but significant. It was quite funny seeing the whole public against the FBI. The ending was quite unexpected.
Anyway, I think that this is a beautiful movie and should be seen with an open mind.
Did this movie get a theatrical release? If not, it's a shame... it's one of those small indie films that could really find an audience.
This is a poor copy of 'Dog Day Afternoon'. Billy is way too pathetic. The FBI is way too ridiculous. The other people in the group makes no sense. It's trying to be a quirky action comedy. Except that it's more stupid than funny. And it's a horrible idea to have Andy Dick who is hamming it up for the camera. I think the filmmakers are attempting at a Tarantino-like DDA movie but they don't have the skills to pull it off. It comes off as a weak homage to the great movie.
The acting was all around nice. No really outstanding performances, but certainly no one who demeaned the film and the performances of others.
I would definitely love to meet one of the main characters in the movie Best Men. Dean Cain played Sergeant Buzz Thomas (might I add that he is so incredibly cute!). You probably know him from his role as Superman in Lois and Clark. Best Men is about four guys who get involved in a bank robbery after their friend Billy Phillips (Sean Patrick Flanery) decides to hold up a bank to grab cash for Jesse Reilly's (Luke Wilson) wedding present. Billy uses quotes from Shakespeare's Hamlet during his robberies, earning the nickname Hamlet. Drew Barrymore plays a small but important part as Hope, the bride-to-be. Teddy Pollack (Andy Dick) adds a funny and somewhat unique twist to the movie. Best Men has it's action scenes, but is mainly a comedy that gradually turns into a drama. The characters are flawless, great performance from all the actors.
I have read some of the other comments on this movie, and have to agree that I was also disappointed when I found out that Cain's character was gay. I also realized, though, that if he was not gay, he most likely would have taken the role of a sex-driven man. The movie was straight forward, and did not need a distraction.
Also, some comments are complaining about the stupidity of the characters. If there weren't parts of the movie where the characters did idiotic things, there wouldn't be much suspense as to where that action would lead them.
There seems to be an argument between comments about the genre of the film. A film does not have to be one type, it is actually much better if it is composed of mixed feelings, which is definitely what Best Men imposes.
This movie was most likely not intended to be a really action-filled movie, a really tragic one, or one that you will laugh about for the next week. It is a light combination of all three. Watching it a couple times will also help you understand the dialog between the beginning and the end. A lot of what is said shows up in another part of the movie.
Overall, a must-see. Best Men definitely gives you a new perspective on shotgun weddings and comedy/action films.
** SPOILERS BELOW ** READ IT, DON'T SEE THE FILM
1) The robber "Hamlet" has to rob the bank on his friends wedding day. Stupid, unnecessary, risky
2) When Buzz comes storming in, he removes his hood, and the two guys uses their real names. Stupid.
3) The other guys drop by, no other person attempts to enter the bank, only these guys, although the bank is full of people. Unlikely.
4) The helicopter pilot all of a sudden gets his hands on a Lynx? My god, he is a lunatic who got fired from the army, no chance in hell is he gonna get his hands on an army helicopter!
This movie sucks, and I regret staying up to see it.
Some films allow you to see how they were conceived. This one you can see the splices: `Deer Hunter,' `Dog Day,' `Speed,' `Butch Cassady.' Each is rolled out in turn to remind us of some fond image instead of delivering one to us directly.
I'm beginning to feel that it is now impossible to make a passable film with either a bus chase or a pickup by a helicopter from a moving vehicle. This has both. Drew Barrymore from her Green period. Early Luke Wilson.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 4: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
Watching the opening credits the audience is granted some manner of false hope; Wilson, Cain, Flanery, Dick, Ward, and Barrymore...not to mention direction from the talented Tamra Davis. Add in music by Mark Mothersbaugh and you might think you were in for a really entertaining hour and a half. You'd be wrong.
Instead this is 90 minutes of your life you'll be wishing you had back. This movie fails miserably in spite of its passable cast. The script is miserable tripe, with each member of this derelict wedding party recounting their own unique story, one more cliché than the next.
The supporting cast features a bevy of film stereotypes; the distant father, the crazy veteran, the villainous FBI agent...even a black security guard named after a ball player! How embarrassing.
Beyond the bad script, sub par performances, weak story, and average direction, Best Men never really decides where it wants to go. Comedy, dark comedy, action-adventure, drama; as it flounders it never achieves any of these goals.
Don't be fooled by the stars, this is grade A loser not worthy of its cast or its director.
The first hour of this movie (including commercials) is truly a mess and completely unbelievable. While I can see the possibility of a man getting out of jail and going to his waiting bride, I could not buy how he and his friends end up helping their buddy "Hamlet" (Billy)in the bank and keeping their fellow towns-people hostage. Even more ridiculous is that because the guys are "nice",they end up basically helping them too.
Dean Cain is really the only convincing male actor of the five (at least in the first 1/2). Although his coming out of the bank,with guns blazing is just plain stupid,along with the fact that he's wearing guns under his tuxedo in the first place.
Andy Dick seems to only be able to play one character his whole career,a strange,nerdy kind of Matthew from "News Radio" boy-man. He really has no place here and his "tell off the wife over the phone" scene has been done way too many times in movies and TV shows,it's completely unoriginal.
As is most of this blatant small town rip-off of "Dog Day Afternoon" (which they at least acknowledge their ripping off). We get a sheriff who's the father of wanted criminal "Hamlet". We also get the cliché' of the crowd cheering for "Hamlet" like he's some kind of Robin Hood folk hero! "I went to high school with that guy!" Says one of them,then they're chanting "Hamlet" over & over.
So,we get the "you we're never there for me dad" plot,which has also been done in movies TV shows. Which made it hard to be sympathetic,but not just in that case,I couldn't sympathize with any of these characters. Even after finding out about their personal downfalls.
The Vietnam vet is so much a cartoon that what could have been a great character is wasted. As are the acting talents of Drew Barrymore. Her presence in all this is spread quite thin.
Then there's the expected FBI converging on the town,with the leader who just wants to blast the bad guys away. He and the sheriff are of course at at odds with each other and the other big city FBI men make fun of the small town's people. "They should be used to shot gun weddings here." (Referring to Barrymore and her boyfriend wanting to get married in the middle of a hostage situation.)
I really only got into the movie when the more truthful and real elements came into play. When Andy is the first to get shot and then the FBI shooting up Cain and "Hamlet's" get away bus in a scene somewhat similar to the ending of Clint Eastwood's,"The Gauntlet". "Hamlet" and father make amends just before that and Dad let's his son get away. (Oh please!)
Then the final two biggest rip off's of all. Barrymore and soon to be husband are given the stolen money by "Hamlet" and they fly of in the Vietnam Vet's helicopter and escape scott free. Shades of "D.B. Cooper"!
Dean Cain and "Hamlet" then have one bullet each in their guns after the bus crashes and their all shot up. Just like the final scene in "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid" they come running out together and Cain takes down the leader of the FBI,who he swore he'd take out.
All the supposed "reasons" these characters have for letting themselves into this mess are contrived and flimsy at best. I would say if this movie had been made a long time ago and had there not been "Dog Day Afternoon",it might seem more plausible but even the intense last half,which did hold my interest,is not enough to like this movie.
Four stars for the final,intense attempted getaway chase scene and "Hamlet's" very well spoken Shakespearian quotes,which do fit in here and the movie thankfully taking a needed turn into reality. Otheriwse,I'd never bother with "Best Men" again. (END)
I'm really glad that I did. This movie had some laughs and some teary-eyed moments. I, personally, both laughed and cried hard, and I know for a fact that it wasn't just because of the late-night time affecting my rationality and/or emotions. I missed the first 10 minutes or so of the movie, which had me a little confused, but I don't think it mattered too awfully much--I'll be sure to rent or buy (this one should be cheap if I can find it) it and watch it again to find out. That being said, I'll move on to my opinions of the individual actors/characters.
I'd never heard of Dean Cain before. I vaguely recognized him without knowing from where--turns out he was the host of "Ripley's Believe It or Not," which I used to watch fairly frequently. That's the only place I'd ever seen him, so I had no idea of what his acting skills were going into this movie. I was pleased with Cain's performance as Buzz. He had a perfect body and attitude for the "tough military guy," although he could've been a bit softer during certain scenes. Still, he did well enough, and certainly didn't detract from the movie.
I went into the film liking Andy Dick. He made me laugh my head off in "Hebrew Hammer," I watch his series "The Assistant" whenever I can, and I've enjoyed all the little guest parts he's had in a great deal of movies. With the exception of "The Assistant," I'd only seen him in slapstick settings. Although he was certainly funny--even hilarious at times--it was a different type of funny, and I really liked it. I'd like to see him in more roles like this: funny, but a little serious. He did a great job as Teddy; I only wish he would have had more time on-screen. Maybe if I'd caught those first minutes of the movie I'd have seen more of him.
Sean Patrick Flanery was definitely the star of the show in my mind. The only other movie I'd seen him in was "Powder," and I didn't recognize him at all here--I only found out it was the same actor when I checked his bio page here. In "Best Men" he did a truly superb job as Billy. He delivered his Shakespeare lines incredibly well, without sounding hesitant, fake, or anything like that. The lines just flowed out, and I think I fell in love a little. His scenes with his father were perfectly believable. All in all, Billy was just my favorite character.
Mitchell Whitfeld did well as Sol. I'd never seen him before this movie, so I didn't know what to expect; I wasn't disappointed. His best line in the movie is the "I'm Jewish" one--so funny!
I've seen lots of Luke Wilson's movies before, and I've always found him thoroughly enjoyable. This held true in "Best Men" as well. I felt really bad for his character, Jesse--I mean, come on, stuck in a bank robbery on your wedding day? That just sucks. A good character, though he (surprisingly) wasn't on screen that much compared to the other characters.
Finally, there's Drew Barrymore as Hope. This woman is one of my favorite actresses of all time, so I was a little disappointed to see that she was barely ever on-screen. For the few minutes we see her, however, she did well.
Although this movie seemed a little random--unequal parts humor, drama, and action--it was still a very good watch. I'll definitely rent this, and if I ever see it for sale I'll be sure to buy it immediately. I give it a 7 out of 10--a slightly more coherent plot would have given it an 8.
Best men is like Mamet in that the dialogue is not the way real people talk, but is stylized, much like Shakespeare stylized his. The way shakespeare wrote was far from the way people talked back then. BEST MEN actually has close ties to shakespeare, as his work plays a major part in the plot. The film is in a way a tribute to shakespeare and his work. The script is in my opinion one of the best and most layered scripts I have ever seen or heared. Unfortunately I don't know if most people will realize how good it really is. The acting is acceptable for the most part. The only really great performances are turned in by Dean Kane, and Brad Dourif (who is one of my very favorite character actors.
If you are going to see this movie, I would recommend seeing it with a completely open mind, have no pre-notions of what it will be, because you won't get what you are expecting. I didn't, I expected a Drew Barrymore movie, but she actually has a rather small role, but I good one.