Anthony's Film Review
Suicide Kings (1997)
Interesting idea, but without any humorous and witty execution to make it enjoyable...
At first, the premise for the film doesn't appear to be an old one: kidnap a wealthy mobster for money to pay the ransom for another kidnapping. I would understand if, somehow, the writers explain a good, and maybe funny, reason for going through these great lengths. Instead, I didn't see why the kidnappers would do that instead of something a little simpler. The kidnapping scene was all right, but once that was over, I knew I was in for a boring one and a half hours.
Christopher Walken plays the kidnapped mobster named Charlie Barret. He is kept in a house along with his kidnappers plus another guy who resides in it: an annoying nerdy guy named Ira. I have to admit. Johnny Galecki's performance as Ira is quite weak and monotonous. Every time he is complaining about something, you are subject to an example of poor acting. The rest of the cast also delivers a low-key performance. Though Walken has some amusing lines, not even he could save the film from being mostly dull.
The things that happen throughout the film, mostly in Ira's house, didn't maintain my interest. There is one scene where a cop shows up and searches the house, and the kidnappers attempt to hide Walken and do so successfully. However, it just didn't seem funny or suspenseful enough. And that's another thing. The film tries to be a comedy-thriller, but the problem is that it doesn't really work in either genre. The comedy scenes are not funny, and the suspense scenes are too weak.
It doesn't mean that there are no twists in this film. At the same time, there really is just one twist at the end. Yet, when the twist is hinted at, it takes quite a while before the major revelation is made. At that moment, there is little suspense, but not much more. The last scene in the film is really the only scene that probably has any value, other than the kidnapping scene in the beginning. Other than that, the scenes in between are forgettable and just plain uninspired.
So what did I like about Suicide Kings? Nothing. The rest of the cast is entirely one-dimensional without interesting characteristics to make each one distinct. If there was one thing I felt good about, it's when the end credits began rolling. In other words, thank goodness it was over. The credits, both at the beginning and at the end, are made to look as if the film itself is old and scratched. Honestly, Suicide Kings is such an unmemorable film that it should literally melt and fade out of existence.
For more information about Suicide Kings, visit the Internet Movie Database.