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Frank Falenczyk loves his job. He just happens to be the hit-man for his Polish mob family in Buffalo, New York. But Frank's got a drinking problem and when he messes up a critical assignment that puts the family business in peril, his uncle sends him to San Francisco to clean up his act. Frank is not a touchy-feely kind of guy, but he starts going to AA meetings, gets a sponsor and a job at a mortuary where he falls for the tart-tongued Laurel, a woman who is dangerously devoid of boundaries. Meanwhile, things aren't going well in Buffalo where an upstart Irish gang is threatening the family business. When violence erupts, Frank is forced to return home and with an unlikely assist from Laurel, faces old rivals on new terms. Written by
Hollywood loves assassins. You can't go more than a few weeks without a new hit-man movie hitting (sorry) the multiplexes. Hell, later this year, there's a movie coming out literally called "Hitman".
The new trend seems to be putting comedic twists on the assassin film. I guess we can thank Tarantino for that. Within the past few years, stuff like "Mr.& Mrs. Smith", "The Whole Nine Yards", "The Matador", "Grosse Pointe Blank", and "Lucky Number Slevin" gave us clever little plays on the assassin genre. If you're at all familiar with those films, you'll feel right at home with "You Kill Me".
Ben Kingsley plays Frank Falenczyk, a hit-man for the Polish Mob out of Buffalo, New York. Frank's an alcoholic, and recently it's been affecting his work. As a result, his superiors send him to San Francisco to attend Alcoholics Anonymous until he can sober up.
The movie doesn't win any points for originality, but it does have a lot to offer. Kingsley puts on a capable, sympathetic show - pretty impressive for a guy who spends the majority of the film getting hammered. Téa Leoni does well enough as the obligatory love interest. The age difference took a little getting used to. Dennis Farina and Philip Baker Hall are a treat to watch playing essentially the same roles they've been playing forever. Hall is the soft spoken head of the Polish Mob Family, while Farina is the loudmouth villain heading up the Italians. Bill Pullman also has a small role as a sleazy real estate agent. Anyone who's seen "Lucky Numbers" knows that Pullman has a talent for quirky lowlifes, and he shines here.
This is a very light movie. It won't blow you away in any regards, but it is a solid 90 minutes of easy entertainment. The script is essentially Frank's struggle to fight his habit. We also get a light love story and a touch of crime thriller. It's a strange juggling act, but Kingsley and director John Dahl pull it off. Don't get discouraged by the bland name. With just enough laughs, drama, and action this is a small movie than just about anybody can have fun with.
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