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Underworld (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy, Thriller  |  9 May 1997 (USA)
4.8
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 576 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 6 critic

After spending seven years behind bars, Johnny Crown is back on the street, with lots of cash, a psychotherapy degree and a burning desire to find and punish gangsters who had killed his ... See full summary »

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Title: Underworld (1996)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Frank Gavilan / Frank Cassady / Richard Essex
...
Dr. Leah
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Ned Lynch
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Will Cassady
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Stan
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Anna
Jimmie F. Skaggs ...
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Dan 'Iceberg' Eagan
Heidi Schanz ...
Joyce Alt / Simone
Cristi Conaway ...
Julianne
...
Janette
Michael David Simms ...
Mitch Reed
...
Ava
Marc Baur ...
Leo
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Storyline

After spending seven years behind bars, Johnny Crown is back on the street, with lots of cash, a psychotherapy degree and a burning desire to find and punish gangsters who had killed his father. One of the people involved is Frank Gavillan, who unwillingly follows Johnny in his demonical and ultraviolent crusade. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes revenge is the best therapy.

Genres:

Comedy | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong language and violence, and for sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

9 May 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bajo submundo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(Alphacine)
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Johnny Crown: The aim of all living things is eventually to kiss the dust.
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User Reviews

 
Denis Leary takes Joe Mantegna for a ride while looking for his father's killer
26 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The key to "Underworld" (1996) is that it's written by Larry Bishop, who also acts in it. Bishop is Joey Bishop's son. Joey was a comedian with a dry wit and sense of humor, and this is what Larry gives us here. Larry seems to have picked up this style of black comedy from his father. This appeals to some people, but tends not to be that funny to others. Judging it on its own merits without bias against the relative remoteness and quirkiness of this kind of humor is hard. One has to adopt a cynical attitude to get it and think it's funny. Some of it parodies other films. On the whole, I think this comes out pretty much average as black humor or below par, a 5 at best. Why? Basically it's a writer's movie, and from there it's an actor's movie. It's a showcase for Denis Leary and Joe Mantegna. Leary does a great job. Mantegna does too. I always enjoy Mantegna's work, or should I say his "presence". He has a unique delivery of lines and even intonation, sort of clipped. You always wonder what he's up to really, like he's concealing his emotions. He always seems the same and yet he doesn't do an injustice to the character. It seems that all the characters are Joe Mantegna. It's really not so. In this one, he shows some anger at times. At others, he has a deep negative feeling toward his father (Abe Vigoda) for some unspeakable division of the past. To Leary he shows impassive courage and sometimes boredom. Mantegna really does act and get into character. He also underacts, remaining always cool, in these fascinating performances. His love-making with Anabella Sciorra is not what anyone would call passionate.

Leary has rather long monologues and does as well as anyone can with some of their basic flatness, not really being that funny because they're not incisive enough or deep enough to get to us really. Some of it falls into the "who cares?" category. If there's going to be a monologue on psychopath vs. sociopath, at least make it witty. Larry Bishop is no Oscar Wilde, and that's for sure.

Leary is doing an extended routine for Larry Bishop. It's almost a stage play. The plot is not important here. There's some big and violent shoot-em-ups. The first one is like a St. Valentine's Day massacre. This serves no purpose, unless it's supposed to be a parody and thus funny. But it falls flat. It's pointless. How many people find slaughter to be amusing?

This kind of material does not have broad appeal. But if its popularity is on the rise because of other movies that do the same kind of thing in an increasingly decadent strain of our culture, this one is at best average.


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