Suicide Kings (1998)

Directed by Peter O'Fallen
Written by Gina Goldman, Josh McKinney, & Wayne Allan Rice, based on the story "The Hostage" by Don Stanford
Starring Christopher Walken, Denis Leary, Henry Thomas, Sean Patrick Flanery, Jay Mohr

My Advice: Wait for Cable.

Tagline:  "A thinking man's Wild Things."  Seriously, take away the nudity and about 50% of the plot twists of the former and you have this film.  A bunch of good friends kidnap a mob boss in order to get the money they need to save Henry Thomas' character's sister, who herself has been kidnapped.  First of all, the idea itself, while interesting, plays out to be incredibly stupid and makes you ask the question "What the hell were they thinking?"  This can be said of the good friends as well as the people behind the film itself.  Christopher Walken makes the best of his mob boss role, spending the majority of the film strapped to a chair.  Leary is an SDI favorite, and although he's good, he's caught in a definite flaw of the screenplay itself--the film doesn't know what it wants to be.  One second it's a Pulp Fiction-esque scene of humorous banter between Leary and others regarding his expensive stingray boots, another second it's a gripping scene of would-be suspense complete with overdone musical score (provided by Graeme Revell, who's normally smarter than this: "The shock is, really...any second...let's draw it out...let the music swell...the shock is coming..."), and then another second you're caught in a bad flashback sequence.  The superfluous characters are almost as abound as the flashbacks.  For example, if someone can explain to me what Laura San Giacomo's purpose was in this film, and make me believe it, then you get a dollar.  The only interesting plot twist is the explanation of how Vitamin K is good for you, but of course that doesn't go anywhere.  The boys themselves are quite predicatible and flat, although Johnny Galecki is good as the toady friend Ira.  All in all, a passable film, but not worth catching in the theater.  It'll hit video and cable soon enough, I assure you.

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