A couple of years back, I was looking through a copy of Maxim magazine and I found a list of 20 films saved by having Christopher Walken in them. As you have probably guessed, Suicide Kings was among the 20, actually, I believe it was number 3.
This was Peter O'Fallon's premiere film for the big screen (he has since made only one other, although he continues to direct numerous television series), and there are a lot of things that might have gone a little better. The dialog is weak in spots, the premise of a "made guy" going off with a bunch of preppy kids is a little off the wall, and the overall feel of the film drags from time to time. But that doesn't mean it is a total failure.
As a matter of fact, just the opposite. Needless to say Walken and Leary come off exceptionally well, and the remainder of the cast is believable. Johnny Galecki comes off as Johnny Galecki, which is to say his dialog and acting are better suited to his current role in Big Bang Theory than to the big screen. Jay Mohr, well, I never have like Mohr, so I can tell you his character is passable, but he never quite rises to the level needed for his part. Henry Thomas and Sean Patrick Flannery both give good performances, and are really the two character who draw your interest. Jeremy Sisto as the medical student tending to Walken is more than adequate to the role, and you can see the young actor's ability flourishing into the actor he has become.
As to the film itself, the plot, once you get past the implausible part, is good and moves pretty well, although there is a lot of exposition that seems pointless until you get to the very end. By then, unfortunately, you lose interest, unless you are a die hard Walken fan (guilty as charged).
Since I have the DVD (yes, I pulled it out of the bargain bin at WalMart), I've watched the alternative endings and listened to O'Fallon's comments, and the one that struck me the most was his comparison of the final scene of the film to one in The Usual Suspects. Hmmm. Not even close, Pete.
Rated R for violence, language, torture, and some nudity, this film is one you might want to rent just to see why television directors who are really good at their jobs should stick to television. Definitely a
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