Saturday, March 28, 2015


Directed By: Roger Donaldson 
Written By: Amy Holden Jones & Walter Hill 
Based On The Novel By: Jim Thompson 
Cinematography By: Peter Menzies Jr. 
Editor: Conrad Buff 

Cast: Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Tilly, Michael Madsen, Philip Seymour Hoffman, James Woods, Richard Farnsworth, David Morse, Burton Gilliam

Doc McCoy is put in prison because his partners chickened out and flew off without him after exchanging a prisoner with a lot of money. Doc knows Jack Benyon, a rich "business"-man, is up to something big, so he tells his wife to tell him that he's for sale if Benyon can get him out of prison. Benyon pulls some strings and Doc McCoy is released again. Unfortunately he has to cooperate with the same person that got him to prison.

Not as bad as one would think, but still really unnecessary. Where as the original played up the characters, their desperate situations and the relationship.

This film seems more tawdry and plays up the pulp origins of the tale. The film seeks to be some kind of grungy, grimy yet designer atmosphere and mood. It wants to get down and dirty but in designer clothing.

It stays true to the greatest hits of the original. But with more sex and nudity. Especially in one scene that just seems cruel. Though helps spell out a characters fate later in the film and why. Other then that the sex scenes seem designed to be steamy and gritty. While not as abusive as they seemed originally.

The cast doesn't do badly. Alec Baldwin is good, but not the person who embodies the Steve McQueen character, but feels a little too slick and polished more like a con man then a tough professional criminal.

The film also seems to trot out it’s well recognized cast of character actors.

Kim Basinger fits the blamed femme-fatale who seems to have nothing going for her but her looks. As you can see her totally willing to sell out whoever she is with. As more of a battle of who's will is stronger over her.

I wonder if screenwriter Amy Holden Jones helped flesh out the female roles and their dramatic inspirations and also the more relationship aspects as well as more the thrills as that seems to be right up her alley (THE RICH MAN’S WIFE, THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE )

Jennifer Tilly exceeds at playing her typical air headed sexpot. Who falls for her kidnapper after he emasculates her weak willed husband. Here her character is given more to do and spells out exactly her betrayal where as in the original film Sally Struthers played to role and it was hinted at and more subtle. Though she also adds more comedy to the preceedings.

Michael Madsen has the air of a untrustworthy partner. He practically has it tattooed all over him. He seems more like he is having fun with his role. As cruel as it is.

James woods has a fun cameo and gives one of the more realistic performances of the film.

The film is fast paced but has enough time to let you get to know the characters, the set ups and everyone's history.

It seems like the film partially expects you to have seen the original film. Which I would highly suggest first and foremost. As it seems more exciting if you have. Though I will admit this version can stand on it's own two feet as it isn't embarrassing. Though you can tell a film of another era. Though it ;fleshes out certain aspects. The seduction and the initial caper that got Doc locked up in the first place

Like Alec Baldwin in the film. The film feels dark though more polished and planned. Where as the original feels more pulled up from it's own bootstraps and had an air that anything could happen. This version has it's own merit but just like a copy isn't as sharp as the original.

Director Roger Donaldson has talent As witnessed In Other films such as THE BANK JOB and THE WORLD'S FASTEST INDIAN. Here he tries to put his own spin on he take while staying true to the original.

This was the last film Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger made together. Before breaking up in their relationship and this was the best of the films they made together (THE MARRYING MAN) wasn't too hard to beat. No one embarrasses themselves here. Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger were a couple at the time that this film was made, the same as Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw were when they starred in THE GETAWAY. Which might explain the casting.

Michael Keaton turned down the role of Doc McCoy, The lead.

The man who sells his truck at the end is named "Slim". In THE GETAWAY, this character was played by Slim Pickens. Here played by Richard Farnsworth who was personally embarrassed, having to converse with profane cursing spoken to him, by others. He quickly regretted that he agreed to join this film.

I remember seeing this film when I was around 16 on it's opening weekend as was usual with films I really wanted to see. I saw this at the Kings plaza mall multiplex. I was really excited to see this film as I loved the original at the time it was one of my favorite films.( I was in a both Steve McQueen/Sam Peckinpah phase) The theater was crowded. By the end the audience ate up the movie they loved it. I felt is was respectable, but lacking. As it felt false at certain moments, Instead of it feeling more natural. Especially one line reading by Alec Baldwin once he realizes he is being set up near the end.

Scarily there were plans to do a sequel which never materialized.

This is a good rentals, fun to look back upon after watching the original. Though don't know if I would add this to the home library.

Grade: B-

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