Martin Blank is a professional assassin. He is sent on a mission to a small Detroit suburb, Grosse Pointe, and, by coincidence, his ten-year high school reunion party is taking place there at the same time.
Martin Blank is a freelance hitman who starts to develop a conscience, which causes him to muff a couple of routine assignments. On the advice of his secretary and his psychiatrist, he attends his 10th year High School reunion in Grosse Pointe, Michigan (a Detroit suburb where he's also contracted to kill someone). Hot on his tail are a couple of over-enthusiastic federal agents, another assassin who wants to kill him, and Grocer, an assassin who wants him to join an "Assassin's Union."Written by
According to George Armitage, he "basically shot three movies simultaneously": one that stuck to the script, one that was "mildly understated," and one that went "completely over-the-top" in terms of improvisation and energy. It was usually the third version that got used, which means there are alternate versions of nearly every scene still out there somewhere. (So far, the film's DVD and Blu-ray releases haven't had any of them.) See more »
Despite never turning around nor leaving the main street of Grosse Pointe, Martin passes the same stores twice. See more »
Some of these guys need some kind of ethical philosophy to justify it, some guys like "live free or die," but that's all bullshit, I know that now, that's all bullshit. You do it because you were trained to do it, because you were encouraged to do it, and because, eventually, you, you know... get to like it.
[Debi stares at him, horrified]
I know that sounds bad...
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Sometimes one bad apple ruins the whole thing. One drop of taint makes the best things in life go bad. An this movie was full of potential taint. It could have been Minnie Driver (the weak point of "Good Will Hunting"). It could have been Dan Ackroyd (whose comedic routines can go from great in "Ghostbusters" to stupid in "Coneheads"). Or maybe it could even have been the fact the writers and director really have no prior experience in making a big film. But the potential taint never happened and this film came out almost flawless.
Minnie Driver was given such a small role that her poor acting and unbelievable character (which, I guess isn't her fault) could be overlooked and placed in the margin. Not her worst performance, but not her best (which might be "Beautiful").
Dan Ackroyd was superb, actually presenting us one of the funnier yet darker villains in cinematic history. His delivery of Bible verses while shooting willy-nilly through a target's house? Diabolical! The directing was respectable and the writing was spot-on. Some great dialog between the characters and the story could not be beat. Seriously.
The Cusacks? Oh my! John Cusack is a winner in everything he's ever done (besides maybe "One Crazy Summer"). This movie is one of his best, almost as memorable as "Say Anything" (though that one is flatly unbeatable). Joan Cusack was also pretty cool as a receptionist and her rapport with John is clear and shines in the film. I'm not buying a phone from her, though. And John's sparring with his kickboxing instructor? Those lessons have paid off! Jeremy Piven? Stupendous, as good if not better than his "Chasing Liberty" role. Having starred in 10 films with John Cusack, this is probably their best together.
There are so many more praises I could heap on this movie, but I shouldn't have to. If you want to see a funny, quirky and well-crafted tale about a professional hit-man and a high school reunion, this is your film of choice. You might rent "Michelle and Romy", but not only will you not get the hit men, but you'll get a piece of dog doo, as well. So choose wisely.
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