The Locusts (1997) Poster


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Heartbreaking and Depressive Revelations
Claudio Carvalho26 June 2016
In the 50's, the drifter Clay Hewitt (Vince Vaughn) arrives in a small town in the countryside of Kansas and befriends the locals Kitty (Ashley Judd), Earl (Paul Rudd) and his girlfriend Patsy (Jessica Capshaw) after punching their friend Joel Carter (Daniel Meyer) in a bar. Clay asks for a job to raise money to go to California, and Earl drives him to the ranch of the widow Delilah Ashford Potts (Kate Capshaw) to work with him in the slaughterhouse. Mrs. Potts is an alcoholic and promiscuous woman and hires Clay and let him stay in the barn. When Clay meets her son Joseph "Flyboy" Potts (Jeremy Davies), he learns that he has just returned from a mental institution after eight years and he does not speak a word to anybody. Further, his only friend is a bull called Jim that belonged to his father. Clay falls in love with Kitty and gets close to Flyboy that becomes his friend and slowly changes his behavior. When Clays decides to leave the town, he discloses a dark secret to Kitty. Meanwhile Flyboy's change of attitude unleashes a series of evil events and revelations from Mrs. Potts.

"The Locust" is one of the most powerful dramas shown in the American cinema industry, with a depressive and heartbreaking story of family revelations. This film is almost perfect, with wonderful direction, performances, cinematography, art direction and music score. Further, it is dramatic but never corny. It is also impressive how the distributors have neglected this film that was only released on VHS in Brazil. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Segredos Imperdoáveis" ("Unforgivable Secrets")
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A family with shocking secrets.
Michael O'Keefe21 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Clay Hewitt(Vince Vaughn)is a drifter from Missouri stopping in 1960s Kansas in hope to earn some money. He only has seven bucks in his pocket. He meets some locals, including Joel(Daniel Meyer), Earl(Paul Rudd), Patsy(Jessica Capshaw) and Kitty(Ashley Judd). Earl suggests he look for employment at Delilah Ashford Potts'(Kate Capshaw) feed ranch. Delilah's reputation of sleeping with her hired hands is common place. She demeans her son 'Flyboy', who is traumatized from his father's death. Clay finally fits in with the other workers and of course is a sexual target of his boss lady. Before Clay talks Kitty into moving on to California; he discovers two big Potts family secrets. The strong sexuality earns THE LOCUSTS the R rating. I really like the diverse characters. The photography catches the moodiness of the story.
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joe-27421 March 1999
I would much rather see a movie like this, that falters occasionally under the weight of a few cliches, than a thousand "innovative" films in love with their own novelties. This film seems made by young filmmakers who've done a hell of a job bringing a very American story to the screen with novelistic detail. Don't see that much anymore, and they almost pull it off here. Wish there was more Ashley Judd. Vaughn and Davies are great together. Vaughn's best role yet... hope there'll be more like it in the
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Vince Vaughn is INCREDIBLE
Doug-5814 December 1998
I recently rented this movie not knowing a thing about the movie other than that Vince Vaughn was the leading actor. What a pleasant surprise!! Although the plot was sometimes far fetched and definitely perverse, Vince Vaughn's on screen magnetism was evident. The man spent most of the film in an undershirt and oozed sensuality. It is evident that he has the potential to be the screen's next Brad Pitt. The film held my interest for the entire 2 hours. I especially enjoyed the performances of Jermey Davies and Ashley Judd. Kate Capshaw's character was under-developed but her performance was on target.
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Deeply Moving
SpencerX10 April 2001
It's easy to get carried away while watching this movie. This is first and foremost a portrayal of people wrestling with their destiny and past, and ultimately facing a fate that seems unavoidable. The cast, without exceptions, superbly adds life to these characters that grasped me and led me through an avalanche of feelings. Vaughn in one of his finest performances.
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A side of Vince Vaughn everyone should see!!
cookie-2024 March 1999
Will the real Vince Vaughn please come forward and do some more acting like this. He really stood out in this picture. Although not the best I have ever seen, the movie kept me intrigued to the very end. It had all the stuff great movies are made of...sweaty 120 degree tea in mason secrets...the shirtless ranch hand in the spare room... the sultry older woman who lusts after him...and plenty of cigarettes...
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A very nice debut with a good story and some fine acting
Philip Van der Veken18 July 2005
Normally when I hear or read the title of a movie, I have some idea of what it could be like. That's not always correct, but most of the time it works - especially with famous movies of course. But when I read the title of this movie, I really didn't know what it would be about. Of course I didn't think that it would be a movie about the insect, but I just couldn't form a good idea about it. That's why I just gave it a try, not knowing what to expect, but hoping for the best. And I'm glad that I did, because this certainly was a nice movie.

"The Locusts" is situated in the 1950's and shows how the arrival of Clay Hewitt changes life drastically in a small town. He's looking for a job and is hired by the local feed ranch's owner, an aging widow who likes to drink and seduce younger men. He quickly becomes her new lover, but also has an eye for her quiet son Flyboy. The boy hasn't spoken a word in years and is completely withdrawn since the death of his father. The only one who he talks to since his recent return from a mental hospital is his pet bull. But Clay wants to give it a try and gradually he manages to get the boy out of his isolation, much against the will of the boy's mother...

Even though this is perhaps not the most original story ever, I must say that I had a good time watching this movie. The acting has a lot to do with that of course. Vince Vaughn is very enjoyable as Clay Hewitt and Kate Capshaw did a very fine job portraying Delilah, but in my opinion it is Jeremy Davies as Flyboy, who was the best this time. But overall this is a movie that portrayed its characters well and didn't drown in an overdose of plot twists. This is John Patrick Kelley's first and so far only film, but it certainly makes me look forward to new projects from this man. I give this movie a rating between 7/10 and 7.5/10.
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The box art may be the highlight, OR so little story, so much (125mins) time.
Doctor_Bombay30 March 1999
That this film has a running time OVER 2 hours, and has had little or no theatrical recognition, immediately activates my senses. This length will complicate scheduling on pay-cable, and meant pressing an additional disk for the laser package. Why?. One possibility (rare) is that it is truly an auteur's masterpiece, not for the masses, maybe, but important enough, as is, to be kept intact. The more likely scenario is that this movie is such a waste of time that everyone involved could really care less what gets released. By now they've all changed their names, left town, and moved onto the next..

Predictably, The Locusts falls into category 2. Vince Vaughan in a muscle shirt and Ashley Judd with her cotton dress flying in the wind are about all this film has on the plus side. Dragging and nagging situations, disconnected dialogue, and uncertain motivation tend to make most every frame tortuous to endure.

First time-writer-directors (John Patrick Kelley here) tend to script a very personal project, one based on material with which they are intimately familiar-they draw on their strength. Subsequent efforts can wane, as the writer ventures into more unfamiliar territory. With this in mind, I leave you with 2 questions: (1) Where in the world did this story come from? And (2) What can we expect from John Patrick Kelly when he starts writing from an unfamiliar point of view ?

The answers may scare you.
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Vince Vaughn is a Star
scout-153 January 1999
A cliche-ridden movie with a lusty widow and a mysterious drifter. And oh yeah, they have secrets. And we know it takes place in the quasi-South since everyone drinks iced tea out of Mason jars. Despite the cliches and sloppy film-making, it's completely enjoyable. Cheesy, corny, fun, sexy and often touching thanks to lovely performances by Vince Vaughn and Jeremy Davies. And someone PLEASE remake Streetcar Named Desire quickly. Vince Vaughn is a star in the making, and he and Ashley Judd sizzle. Stanley and Stella, anyone?
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Excellent vehicle for Vince Vaughn!
istina11 December 1998
I have always thought that Vince Vaughn was a decent actor but this film just proves I was wrong...he is fantastic! Ashley Judd, Kate Capshaw, and Jeremy Davies turn in performances that would earn them award nominations if the movie had any media backing whatsoever. Great film.
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The Locusts
arlenedayj5 August 2006

This movie was so good. The acting was absolutely amazing! Vince Vaughn is an amazing actor. More roles like this for Vince, no more crap like Wedding Crashers.

Wonderfully acted movie..

Finally a movie that you have to watch and understand.

Where have all the great acting movies gone.. More movies like this. The story was simply told. Vince Vaughn can certainly.

I recommend this movie highly.

The sound track set the tone for this movie and took you back to a simpler time, with more complex issues.
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Moody Drama
xXLegendaryXx31 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
OK first let me start by saying I love this movie. From the time period, the score, picturesque settings and Ashley Judd is absolutely gorgeous.

However I'm a bit confounded by several things; how was Mrs Potts responsible for her mothers untimely death and why did clay sleep with her?

Even after it seemed like he decided it was worth the risk; of her informing law enforcement of his whereabouts.

On a gloomy note it was sad to see fly boy commit suicide, but I also appreciate the writer for not making it a cliché happy ending.
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Worth more than 2 stars on premium digital cable
ishpafaro6 February 2007
An American movie without happy end. Kate Capshaw heads a cast of young actors. From the start she comes over disgusting. 2 hours later you'll love here. It is really a very dark family secret. Vince Vaughn, Jeremy Davies, Ashley Judd are some of the names in this well-done USA movie. Who gives this stares anyway? Movie made during the 1997s. TRY TO WATCH IT ! The rest of the cast is young and horny. It plays on a mid America cattle farm. A seasonal worker, who may or may not haved killed a girl in KC, Kansas City, Missourri, finds a job in the south. La Madame Capshaw says yes. She smokes a lot in the movie. and she has a most wonderful main house ans cattlle field. A lot of blood on t-shirts and skirts. It makes it more hot. WATCH THIS MOVIE ! In Europe they would possibly say that if Kate Capshaw wasn't married to Steven Spielberg, this movie would have been never made? But watch for yourself.
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True drama...
EighthSense30 December 2005 the type and class of 'Cat on a hot tin roof' and 'Summer and smoke'. Jeremy Davies should have won an award for his very talented performance of a difficult role-he's this generation's Anthony Perkins. Vince Vaughn's performance was excellent and moving too, and a meaty role for him-a Marlon Brando-type role, to be sure! Dark, depressed, tragic movie,with an air of inevitability hanging over it, beautifully photographed, with a lovely sound track with several golden oldies. The soundtrack really set a tone and time for the movie, and was at the right volume, unlike so many current artless movies where blasting music or car engines obliterate the dialog.

Too bad that the delay of Clay in running after Flyboy at the end of the movie, as Flyboy ran from his mother's bedroom, was not believable-it was obvious that Clay would have ran after his very distraught young friend right away.
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**SPOILERS** Gripping movie!!
tamila_gill10 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers
There are so many words that can be used to describe the emotions that I felt while watching this movie, and I'm not sure how to display them. But, I must preface my comments about this movie with the following: I am an unapologetic, unabashed fan of Vince Vaughn's acting, and I'm pretty sure that I always will be. I am, however, unbiased when it comes to a movie role, and can admit when I'm unimpressed with his work (his hosting of SNL back in 1998 quickly comes to mind). Having said this, here is a brief synopsis of what I received from this movie. My comments are based on the assumption that you have already watched this film.

I felt that Vince Vaughn was amazingly convincing as Clay, a drifter on the run from his past. His portrayal of Clay Hewitt was nothing short of genius. I'll never understand how he successfully pulled off this role, because the script in itself left a lot to be desired, in my opinion. Somehow, Vaughn balanced a tough, gritty, emotionally unattached character with one that was gentle and loving at the same time.

I was also surprised at how well the actors displayed various trust and emotional issues throughout the film. Flyboy (Jeremy Davies) gradually opens up to Clay, which allows him to gradually expose Flyboy to a whole new world little by little. Flyboy trusts Clay with everything, even to the point of eventually revealing the awful truth to him about "The Anniversary". Clay eventually feels comfortable (or desperate) enough to disclose information to Kitty (Ashley Judd) about tragic events that occurred in his recent past.

He reveals that he has been lying to protect himself from his past, and hopes to move on and start over. The irony is that upon arrival to this rural Kansas town, Clay is unknowingly placed at the center of a family web of murder, suicide, lies and deceit.

I also appreciate the dynamic between Clay and Kitty. He is emotionally detached from her throughout the entire film, and his emotional capacity is dominated by his concern for Flyboy. Kitty is spurned by Clay on every attempt at affection and communication with him. It turns out in the end that Kitty is all that Clay has emotionally and he instantly becomes desperate for her support; he literally needs her help to physically stand up in the end. I enjoyed how this played out.

Flyboy's mother, Delilah, actually sets the whole stage for the tragedy that ends their branch on the family tree. In the last scene of the movie, it is obvious that she is plotting in her mind how everything will play out, and things turn out tragically according to her plan. Clay is the one person that Flyboy was correct in knowing that he could trust with his life. The fact that Flyboy died believing that Clay committed the ultimate betrayal is a devastating end that was admittedly almost too much for me to handle. This is especially considering that Clay's whole existence throughout the last 3/4 of the movie was centered around his interest and eventual love for Flyboy.

One may think to himself that it's horrible for Clay to have entered Flyboy's life only for Flyboy to meet such a tragic demise. It may even appear indirectly that Clay is the reason for Flyboy's death. But I believe that had it not been for Clay, Flyboy may have lived longer, but remained miserable. He would never have known what it felt like to be loved by someone who truly considered Flyboy to be his best friend, or cared for by a woman that showed him genuine affection and considered time spent with him as "the best date she ever had" sum it up, had it not been for Clay entering his life, it's safe to assume that Flyboy would never have known what true love was. It's amazing to me that these actors (namely Vaughn and Davies) could work together in a way that allowed me to receive this much from this movie. I was truly touched by this film, and it has become one of my all time favorites.
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Unsure, need to see it again...
Steve-28016 March 2000
This came on at 4:40 AM this morning, and I was tired, but tried to catch it all. I didn't, and so want to see it again, but I think I caught most of the necessary details. Vince was much better, more thorough, full, than what I've seen him in before (which isn't much) and now I'll expect more. Judd, Davies, and Rudd are also fairly unfamiliar, but now I'll get at them too. They were all fine, but I want that second viewing. I'll probably tape it, but it only came on once this month here. Maybe I'll rent it. Certainly not upbeat, but so is life sometimes. The actors had me reacting with both anger and tenderness, so I hope that won't be lost next time.

As for other mentioned films, Cat left me cool, Hud I love, and remaking Streetcar sans Leigh, Brando, Hunter, et al, is fruitless, even with full dialogue.

I'm much more on the positive side with this one so far...hope it lasts...
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Very dark...brilliant
Dana Wang9 June 2004
Warning: Spoilers

Set in the 1950s, this intense drama is about secrets, lies and misfortune. Personally, I think it is well-done.

Clay Hewitt (Vince Vaughn) comes to a small town from St Joe and while on his way hitching to California, where he can get together with his brother who serves in the marine corps. With only seven bucks in his pocket, he has to find work in order to get some money. Immediately he is hired by Mrs Potts (Kate Capshaw) to work at her cattle ranch and lodge and board are provided. He notices that Mrs Potts has a young son, Flyboy (Jeremy Davies) who never speaks to anybody but his beloved bull. Later Clay befriends Flyboy and tries to guide him to the outside world, which he has been excluded from for years due to his stay in a mental hospital. They say he has a shock when his father hangs himself.

Meanwhile, local girl Kitty (Ashley Judd) falls in love with Clay. Flyboy starts talking to people and makes steady progress, but at the same time, the whole thing is about to go extremely wrong- Clay's brother has long been killed in a friendly fire and the reason why he's going to California is because, back in Kansas, a sixteen-year-old girl with whom he has had sex accidentally hurts herself and dies, so Clay has to flee from being executed. Eventually, Clay decides to take Flyboy with him, away from the domination of Mrs Potts- Flyboy has been treated as a slave and has been emotionally abused by his promiscuous mother who cuts the balls of his pet bull.

But when Mrs Potts has found out Clay's intention, she threatens him that if he took her son with him, she would inform the police as she already has learnt about what has happens in Kansas. It is at this very moment, the dirty secrets of Mrs Potts and her son are revealed. Clay can take his wages and leave on one condition- he has to do what Mrs Potts asks him to. When Flyboy finds the two of them in Mrs Potts' bedroom, following his father's (not even his birth father) footsteps, he hangs himself. Soon afterwards, Mrs Potts takes her own life as well. Despite such catastrophes, Clay and Kitty manage to escape.

In my opinion, this is a very fascinating, twisting story. The whole cast is good, especially Vince Vaughn and Jeremy Davies. In 'The Locust', every main character is a victim, except perhaps Kitty (Ashley Judd), who actually has strength to give Clay a helping hand. Clay is a victim of his mishap, Flyboy is a victim of his mental trauma due to his father's death, his mother's behaviour and the unintentional betrayal by Clay, Mrs Potts is a victim of her incestuous father and Mr Potts is a victim of his wife's infidelity. This film is about deaths- there are five of them, three of them are suicides.

P.S. Clay seems to have endless cigarettes to smoke. Where does he get the money for them?
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No southern cliche unused
jimbo-9328 April 1999
I agree with bjb completely on this one. Skip this and rent Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or Hud. I can actually think of a couple southern movie cliches that weren't used: the cattle did not develop brucelosis; the protagonist did not fight racism at any point in the movie;and (Specific to Texas)though longneck beers were constantly being imbibed, I could not surmise that they were Lonestar brand and nobody was drinking Dr Pepper. Still, Ashley Judd looks great. The plot is preposterous and somebody needs to explain to me why Kate Capshaw's character did not want her son to leave?
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Locust or Praying mantis?
moviemaster2 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have to wonder if the cohesion that might have held this movie together is lying on the cutting room floor. There are so many subplots that are never properly developed and not tied up at the end. I stumbled into this movie thinking it was some Sci-Fi work (as described by the on screen analysis of "on demand.") I just wanted a movie to put me to sleep. This wasn't that movie. Locusts did not take over the planet. But I was immediately struck by the brooding nature of the direction and how it drew me into the movie. However, sometimes I felt like it was some mini-series I had missed the first episode of. Some of the performances were good, but the plot meandered along until it suddenly became hurried. In the last 10 minutes the "mother" tells of her rape by her father, her son drowns himself, somehow, in the gelding shed and the mother finally did the world a favor and shot herself. Fortunately our hero and heroine ride off into the sunset in their maroon pick up truck and we're marooned, wondering if this is a happy ending or not... that is if you can consider a man who raped and murdered a woman a "hero." In the end, it didn't put me to sleep, but made me wonder why I had stayed up so late.
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Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette
lurch-177 January 2005
I got lung cancer from all the second-hand smoke. In nearly every scene, cigarettes play a prominent role. Either the director was a cigarette junkie, the cast were nicotine addicts, or tobacco companies funded the entire production.

The plot was predictably hokey, the acting mediocre (with the exception of Flyman), and the directing lazy. It seemed to pause often to make some point but never delivered the point. Capshaw was especially disappointing. I managed to struggle through all 2+ hours waiting for something to reach out of this film. It never did.

The high point was seeing Vince Vaughn take off his shirt - and I'm straight.

Don't waste the time and money. It could drive you to lighting up.
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Too depressing for the likes of me
celticwanderer27 August 2009
I must confess the ONLY reason I bought this film was because I live in Sealy, TX, and some of the scenes were shot a few blocks from my house. Considering all the preparations made to the buildings in downtown Sealy for this film, I was disappointed to discover very little of the town was actually shown in the movie. It seems a lot of effort for so little, but I'm sure the city administration was happy just getting Sealy in the credits. As for the movie itself, really not my cup of tea. I don't like these kinds of films at all. But I will say I thought the acting was as good as it could be considering the script moved like a pregnant snail and the dialog was often very weak.
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I think I cried the most because of this film, than any other...
francesca orr25 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers

This is one of the most moving, well it made me cry for like twenty minutes after it had finished...when the guy hanged himself, I cried so much, cos I really wanted that character to get away from his nasty mother and have a happier life, great performances from the two main charcters jeremy and vince...*Sniffs* All my favourite films have made me's weird that. Actually all the main characters in my favourite films die...hmm...owell. except for a film called can't hardly wait. my fave films are comedies and sad emotional films, usually meaningful.Anyway, you dont want to hear this, wouldn't be surprised if your not even reading this, but again anyway, it is a good film, a bit slow at the beginning, but very emotional, be warned, you may cry like a baby!
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Ashley is great, but the movie is not.
ipswich-211 May 2000
This is the second movie in a row that I've watched which has good acting but is let down by a wayward script. I was amazed at Ashley Judd's commanding performance as Kitty. All credit too for Kate Capshaw, Jeremy Davies and Vince Vaughn. The pace of the whole movie was painfully slow and the ending was a huge disappointment. The castrating of bulls was really excessive and unnecessary. Watch this as a measure of how big a star Ashley Judd will become.
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all5606 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Ever lie awake at night, watch something on some obscure cable channel, and end up wondering why you didn't drink yourself into a stupor several hours earlier? I just did. I'd probably feel better tomorrow, had I chosen the booze.

THE LOCUSTS is a truly awful film. It's one of those that always makes me ask the questions "WHY was it done and WHERE did the money come from?" Forget the attempts, so en vogue today, of trying to date and sentimentalize a film by mindless overlays of classic music! Genuine inability is timeless.

Here is the one good thing I can say about this film: Ms. Judd's make-up artist, Ben Nye, Jr, had the sense to leave her alone. She's radiant...from the safe distance she was photographed. But, everything else is likewise-photographed. I guess the photographer didn't feel comfortable any closer to the storyline.

The acting is laughable, especially the three leads. The kid spends two hours trying to do a James Dean and succeeds only in setting back the cause of the speech-impaired a couple decades. He is in rarefied atmosphere here. Only Jennifer Jason Leigh in KANSAS CITY and Richard Gere in BREATHLESS have given comparable performances. Capshaw is, well, Capshaw. Vince who? Doesn't he do novelty records?

But the plot takes the cake. To think that human beings would allow themselves to dwell in or near this attempt of some swaggering pump-up to inflict his "values" or "Code of the Cool" on a defenseless kid is ludicrous. The mindset of the executive(s) responsible for the allocation of funds and the filming itself, who must have found SOME potential in the story, is unfathomable. There is none. GIANT and DUEL IN THE SUN and LONG HOT SUMMER have been done before. With taste, opulence, style or length to cover gaps in meaning or worth. This film has none of any of that.

Fortunately, the family off themselves at the end, preventing a sequel.

I think I now understand why Orion bankrupted.
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Why not, it's on video!
bjb4 November 1998
Considering that any subsequent viewing of this film will be on video or cable, why not take a look? The draw being a good performance from Vince Vaughn. The writing is terrible and the dialogue is almost embarrassing. The plot is ridiculous, full of literary (but really juvenile) symbolism.

Somehow, Vaughn still manages to be fun to watch, even when he is castrating bulls.
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