Ex-mob boss Christopher Walken is kidnapped by a group of four kids in a haphazard attempt at paying the ransom for another, separate kidnapping. Complexities arise as the group cannot seem to do anything right. Written by
Wells Oliver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When the sister of one young man is kidnapped while she is out on a date with another young man, the group of friends kidnap an ex-mobster to make use of his contacts and his money to help get her back in one piece. However the longer they keep Bartolucci the closer his right hand man Veccio gets to finding them and the more the friends realise that the kidnapping plot may be more complex than first thought.
Attracted to this film by the presence of Walken playing the role he does best some sort of mobster I wasn't really sure what to expect. The overly stylised opening credits and the initially confusing mix of flashbacks within flashbacks to set the story were quite distracting however soon settled down into a more straightforward plot. This plot holds the interest due to the confined situation in which most of the action occurs and is quite involving. The first few twists are well handled but it starts to put the film into a spin from which it doesn't recover, as more twists mount up and become increasingly alienating and contrived. At the end I didn't feel any involvement or surprise by the twists whereas I had sat up and paid attention to the first few.
The film is quite comic at places and this makes it feel like a more enjoyable piece than it would have if it had just been played straight. However this comic touch doesn't take away from the fact that the film is really a thriller of sorts. The cast is roundly good, without anyone of the main group really stealing the show. Walken does his role in his sleep but is still effective his transformation as he gains confidence during the film is well put across. The young group of actors playing the friends are all pretty good although the `where have I seen him before factor' was a little distracting (6 Feet Under, Roseanne etc). However it is the (wisely expanded) character played by Leary that really is the one that I kept looking forward to seeing. His character almost feels like he is in a movie of his own which is a distraction, but means his scenes are all very enjoyable. His dialogue is knowingly cool and his character is comically overblown to good effect. The film truly benefits from having him in the role.
Overall this film wants to be cooler and better than it really is, the end result of which is a spiral of twists which become increasingly uncontrolled and uninvolving. It is enjoyable enough to watch and the use of one main set helps to add to the tension of the story, however once the twists come they don't stop which sadly leads to them becoming increasingly less effective. Worth a watch but subject to the law of diminishing returns in terms of plotting.
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