Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

Directed by George Armitage
Written by John Cusack, D.V. DeVincentis, Tom Jankiewicz & Steve Pink
Starring John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Cusack

My Advice: Don't Miss It.

In probably one of the best-written and smartest comedies of the year, Cusack gives a character and a situation so good, you actually wish for a sequel.  I know, it sounds unlikely, but work with me here.  Martin Q. Blank is a professional hitman who gets roped into going back for his ten-year high school reunion.  Killing people, sounds like the perfect foundation for a comedy, right?  Actually, it can be and it is, but only because of acting that matches the writing.  Cusack makes a killing machine that you can relate to--he's losing his edge, he doesn't know if the job he's doing is worth it anymore, and now he has to worry about joining a union.  He's also in much better form here than in the regrettable Con Air.  The union organizer is Aykroyd, a far cry from Norma Rae, who is manically fun to watch as Cusack's rival.  Always nice to watch as well is SDI favorite Driver, as the DJ who still carries a torch for Cusack, but isn't going to let him off of ten years of neglect too easily.  And it's good for the picture she doesn't, because the scenes between the two of them are charged and quite witty.  Also of note are Joan Cusack as Cusack's character's secretary and Arkin as his therapist, with the movie returning to the two of them for very amusing sidebars.  Definitely worth the money and definitely a step up for Mr. Cusack.

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