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Suicide Kings

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  • Posted January 1, 2014

    by Dane Youssef "Tarantinoesque (adj) ¿ referring to or re

    by Dane Youssef

    "Tarantinoesque (adj) – referring to or reminiscent of the work of the
    American film-maker and actor Quentin Tarantino (born 1963), known for
    the violence and wit of his films." --Collins English Dictionary 

    Tarantino never set foot in a film school. He might not even have taken TV Media in high school. But... he started writing, directing and acting--and he still changed the genre. With "Reservoir Dogs," he was established. With "Pulp Fiction," he was God.

    Hollywood is like high school. When one does something that really gets popular, it sparks... the trend. And all the others follow suit--following the leader like cult lemmings. And in film, influence can be essential. Or just sad and embarrassing. Tarantino inspired many--a lot of particular imitators. Some good. And... as for this one? 

    "SUICIDE KINGS" dares to spin a yarn of a quartet of wealthy privileged youngsters who dream up... and then try the most desperate and daring
    of schemes--they abduct an ex-Wiseguy. 

    The reformed mobster is on his way home one night after an invigorating evening out. There's an ambush, he's attacked. He comes to... only to
    find himself bound-and-gagged in a chair somewhere. What the hell's going on?

    A hostage film. A mob-crime flick. And also eventually... kind of mystery "whodunnit?" thriller, the plot twists and turns--especially in the last quarter of the picture. 

    Just a bunch of boys having fun. Bein' boys--not unlike "Reservoir Dogs", "Pulp Fiction" and "Django Unchained."

    "The Godfather in question" finds in a cabin somewhere surrounded by rich collegiate in nice suits who seem to fancy themselves their own
    independent Mafioso. He sees red--on someone's shirt, as it's covered in the Goodfella's blood. The whole plan goes as wrong as we'd expect
    and the spoiler Richie's panic--and then these dumb rich silver spoons all turn on each other. 

    There's a bit where they cut off the mobster's finger (remember the cop's ear in "Reservoir Dogs"?) The mob is infamous for this. There's a
    moment where two henchman talks about his shoes--White Nikes, Bruno Mackie's and Stingray Boots, (the discussion of Big Macs and McDonald's
    in Holland vs. America), these kidnappers are all in fine suits (Tarantino's henchman always were too).

    The standard big-heist/kidnapping/robbery/caper genre picture has been a staple of cinema since before movies could speak. And in the '30's,
    the genre reached its zenith. 

    "SUICIDE KINGS" boasts one of those casts that we'd expect from the latest Tarantino picture. Christopher Walken, Laura Harris, Jeremy Sisto, Brad Garrett, Jay Mohr, Johnny Galecki, Sean Patrick Flanery, Henry Thomas, Laura San Giacomo and Dennis Leary.

    OK, not quite the highest-of-profile names for the most part. But still, everyone does a worthwhile job. Only Walken, Leary and Galecki really stand-out. 

    Christopher Walken confirms the belief that any scene he's in--just flat-out works. Even when the screenplay gives him the most ludicrous
    insights: "But I come from out there, and everybody out there knows, everybody lies: cops lie, newspapers lie, parent's lying'. The one
    thing you can count on - word on the street... yeah, that's solid." Uh-huh. That's why so many schoolyard and water-cooler rumors are
    considered holy fact.

    Denis Leary has the most fun in his role doing what I suppose can best be described as "the quintessential Denis Leary role." He's "Denis
    Leary in the mob." Ranting about his wife and his expensive footwear. Doing a good deed and then bring down his usual Biblical wrath. 

    Galecki is kind of fun as the rich worrywart nebbish whose family owns the place and seems a lot more concerned with mud being tracked on the
    floor, what happening to his father's favorite chair than the fact that a mobster is bound and he know everyone's name

    All the other actors--they get a passing grade, but they don't quite stand out. 

    And at times, "SUICIDE KINGS" is like that--hit-and-miss. 

    The whole abduction is so badly planned out--the movie itself even takes notice of this. At one point in the movie, Walken's character
    says to his captors: "You guys didn't think this through too good, did you?" Anyone with a handful of working brain cells will be thinking the
    same thing. I kind of wanted to ask the filmmakers this. The amount of obvious mistakes these guys make. Oh, they're clearly not professionals.


    These guys kidnap a man with mob connections. They let him know who they are. They introduce themselves to him at the beginning. Really get
    to know each other. Of course they have to get to know each other, take their walls down and open up... it's integrate to films like these for male bonding--or rather, character development.

    You'd think they would have blindfolded him, or be masked themselves. They drop their names. Surely they don't honestly believe they're going
    to get away with this. And then, is there really a possibility that... how Walken attempts to get out of this... or they do. Even in a god-dammed movie....

    The movie's screenwriters Josh McKinney, Gina Goldman and Wayne Allen Rice take Don Stanford's original short story "The Hostage" from and
    heavily "Quentin Tarantino-ize it." Some thought they paid homage real proper. Some thought all this seems like something at best he might have in the bottom of his drawer--and forgot about forever. 

    The scribes here don't seem to have quite that golden ear. It's not quite tin....

    Director Peter O' Fallon has real flair and style. He certainly films this thing with a lot of energy to spare. The kind we've seen best in... well, you know where.

    Heist/kidnapping movies that deal with "inside jobs" just gotta have that moment where the ship's going down in flame and the rats all turn
    on each other.

    There's even the plot development where they all turn on each other, trying to find out who the traitor is, the mole feeding the cops the
    info is--remember the last act of "Reservoir Dogs"? Where all of the criminals go nuts, pull out their guns and...

    "SUICIDE KINGS" is nice, fun and disposable. The most memorable thing about it is Walken taped down in a chair. And that's only of the best
    ways to get Waken.The filmmakers know that. 

    In the end, most of it is forgettable. Kind of fun (especially the comic stuff), but no, really nothing especially special. No must-see classic. Well, what do you expect from a designer impostor Tarantino?

    I agree--a little too much (and I mean from beginning to end) is recycled from Tarantino. Except I don't think Q.T. himself ever rotoscoped. 

    And Tarantino himself admits to being a big-time movie imitator--one of the very best there ever was. But when he plagiarizes, he knows damn
    well how to make it feel fresh. He steals from the best of the old school. But he has that golden ear, that Beethoven savant. 

    "SUICIDE KINGS" is still worth a look for a slow night. Better than a lot of the merde being crapped out of Hollywood's big uncreative anus. "Suicide Kings" doesn't beat the house and take the pot, but like poker, it's not a bad way to spend a slow night with your friends. 

    Oh come on, people. It's obvious why they're trying to make designer- impostor Quentin Tarantino.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Suicide Kings

    As always Christopher Walken delivers expertly!
    The movie is more of a who done it, dark comedy drama....
    Very enjoyable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Tom - some dude who watches a LOT of movies

    Outstanding film!!! My favorite movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I laughed out loud !!

    Denis Leary and the rest of the cast are hysterically good in this delightful movie. It's full of surprises and well worth your time. Don't miss it !

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    crazy, funny, good

    Suicide Kings is a very dark movie and parts of it are pretty cracked out. But at the same time, it manages to be funny and exciting and very entertaining. An independent film with a great cast that any fan of action or dark comedy should see.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great movie

    This is a dark comedy that is definetely worth watching.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best that Film has to Offer!

    Suicide Kings, despite the inadequate title is one of the best films made in the last decade. The camera angles the lighting, everything works perfectly in this dark comedy. The acting is superb, (especially Walken) and not one character goes undeveloped. The DVD makes it even better-my suggestion is after watching the movie once or twice, watch it again with the director commentary on-it is very insightful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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