Director: David Grovic
Writers: David Grovic, Paul Conway, James Russo (original screenplay “Motel”)
Stars: John Cusack, Rebecca Da Costa, Robert De Niro
Ohhhh John…what is all this D-DVD crap you keep making? Surely you don’t need the money anymore? Anyway, to the review. This actually starts out quite good as we see Jack (Cusack, as amiable as usual) agreeing to transport a bag (which he is explicitly told he can’t look in) for nasty piece of work mobster Dragna (A sleepwalking De Niro) and await a collection at a remote motel. Once we’re at the motel, Jack meets an assortment of weird of wonderful characters and the film plods along reasonably nicely.
Now it seems either the director or writer wanted to make a clever guessing film, but it never really works. While I enjoyed watching it, and wondering why the hell everyone seems to know about/want this bag, with Jack getting himself into crazier and crazier situations as more and more people start dying, you tend to forget or stop caring what’s in the bag as the surrealism of the whole thing unfolds.
One of the characters Jack comes across is Rivka (the beautiful Da Costa, who looked much better in the previous years title Breaking at the Edge). While a passable actress, I’m pretty sure for her role here, she was chosen for her looks over anything else. Unfortunately for Jack he also comes across a whole host of other unsavory characters, some aware of the bag, others not. One thing they all have in common though (intentionally of not) is to make this a night to never forget.
Overall this is a nice little thriller with some crazy and humorous moments, with Cusack being Cusack and De Niro (for his limited screen time) being his usual gangster self. Then we get to the final ten minutes, where all is revealed and the film promptly falls flat on its ass. Rushed ending…bad script…plain dumb plot? Who knows the reason, but what was an interesting D-DVD title up to this point just gets utterly ridiculous. One to catch if you have nothing better to do at the time.
The Sage’s Rating: