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Laura San Giacomo,
In Phoenix, Arizona, all is not well at the local police station as some of the colleagues are not good of heart. Superstitious cop Harry Collins is on the take. He a compulsive gambler who is forced to plan a heist with fellow cops Mike, James, and Fred to rip off local pimp and overall bad guy, Louie, to pay off gambling debts run up with "bookie" Chicago.Written by
Chris Foster <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Written by Mark Sandman
Performed by Morphine
Courtesy of Dreamworks Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets and Courtesy of Rykodisc See more »
Fates calling the shots
I was expecting straight-to-video fodder here the kind you watch stupefied because it happened to be on late at night. It revealed itself to be a taut little thing that tries to create its own world.
It was caught in the Tarantino craze so we have small talk about cartoons, movies and music peppered throughout. It has, eventually, a heist in animal masks gone awry that makes poor sense and cookie cutter resolutions where we drive around to settle scores with a bunch of characters that were left hanging so that it's all neat by the end.
For a while it manages to strike some spark, most of it in the first half.
A man who we understand is trying to be upstanding while everyone around him is fickle, but he has a blind spot for gambling. It's not about the money, for him it seems to be a warped way of measuring himself up against the universe, challenging the fates to pave whatever way they have in store so he can have a mandate to abide by. He makes a mess, owing everyone in town, but won't take the easy way out because a bet is a bet; opportunity for self-worth.
So when the fates shuffle the deck and he's dealt the role of hapless stooge who loses everything, he goes through it with stoic persistence to settle debts. Ray Liotta is as good as he was for Scorsese in a similar twitchy role as fates conspire to crush him.
It's no Asphalt Jungle where the heist is the ritual that opens us from anxiety to dreamlike visions, but it beats Reservoir Dogs.
Noir Meter: 2/4 | Neo-noir or post noir? Neo
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