“Interesting characters, in search of a better setting.”
Harley (Esposito) comes out of prison, and links up with timorous video store owner Ray (Patrick), who must impersonate her boyfriend in order to collect $2m stashed in a safe-deposit box. The cash was swindled from mob money-shuffler Gin (Meaney) – understandably he’s keen to get it back before his boss notices. You will not be surprised to hear that hardly anyone in this film is quite what they seem.
Indeed, even the places aren’t what they appear. The second half is set in Williams, Arizona which, by obscure coincidence, I visited three days before discovering it was in this movie. Or rather, a substitute that in no way resembles Williams. Okay, 99% of viewers wouldn’t notice, but it shows a lack of attention to detail; see also the motel where Ray’s smoking room clearly has a “No smoking” sign on the door. Must try harder, folks.
This borderline entry lacks action, though the heroine’s demolition job on a henchman is brisk and brutal. It’s her attitude which qualifies it for inclusion here, creating an underlying sense that things are always about to go off. The plot provides the expected twists, though Jones cheats by editing to hide information from the viewer. What really rescues the movie are the characters, who all have their quirks, most notably Meaney’s gangster with a Christmas fetish. Chuck in Melissa Joan Hart as a fake mortician, and Michael J. Pollard playing a bank security guard, and these are people worthy of your time. Shame the same effort wasn’t applied elsewhere in the film.
Dir: Phil Jones
Star: Jennifer Esposito, Robert Patrick, Mike Hagerty, Colm Meaney