New On Netflix: Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead

[BoxTitle]Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead[/BoxTitle] [Netflix] [NetflixWatch id="1039088"/] [NetflixAdd id="1039088"/]

Next to Love and a .45, Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead might be the most wretched of the nihilistic ’90s Tarantino-wannabes, a pointlessly crass crime caper where characters with names like “Critical Bill,” “The Man With the Plan” and “Mr. Shhh” don’t so much communicate with each other as upchuck the writer’s attempt at a nifty new crime slang (“Buckwheats” means to kill someone in the most painful way possible — and we’re apparently not cool enough to ever know why it’s called that). Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg — whose other script around this time, Beautiful Girls, is actually an insightful and clever piece of work — mistakes adolescent vulgarity for wit and “edginess” (or whatever it was everyone was trying to do in the ’90s) time and time again as Andy Garcia‘s crew of misfits is picked off one by one after they botch a shakedown job involving the ex-fiancee of the pedophile son of a wheelchair-bound crime boss (Christopher Walken as the aforementioned “Man With the Plan”). Rosenberg even tries to give it all a sense of theatrical existentialism, with Jack Warden offering awkward insights and explanations as a kind of wiseguy Greek Chorus in a malt shop — imagine Tarantino mixed with Samuel Beckett but with about ten percent of the intelligence. Treat Williams, as the aforementioned “Critical Bill,” gets the movie’s one good line; after blowing someone away with a shotgun, the idiot psycho exclaims in victory, “I am Godzilla, you are Japan!!” Actually, even that isn’t very good.


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