[Sidebar] The Worcester Phoenix
October 12 - 19, 2000

[Movie Reviews]

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by Tom Meek

Sylvester Stallone trying to fill the thespian shoes of two-time Oscar winner Michael Caine? That's what this remake of the mod 1971 British noir is all about. Caine even gives it credibility by lending his mug to a supporting role. At least Sly doesn't try out a cockney accent -- the setting has been transposed to cyber-hip Seattle, where his Jack Carter, a heavy for the Vegas mob, has returned home for the funeral of his brother. The alleged car accident doesn't play well with Carter's instincts; he suspects foul play and starts poking around. Caught up in the gnashing revenge mix: Miranda Richardson as the widow in mourning, Rachael Leigh Cook as her punked-out daughter, Mickey Rourke as the porn king, Alan Cumming as the flamboyant start-up geek, and Caine as the avuncular overseer with a hidden agenda. The aged Stallone, robotic and thuggish, is almost admirable, and Stephen Kay's direction is visually slick, but the insipid dialogue and inane plot development do him in. Why would anyone attempt a straight-up remake of one of the truly great British gangster films? I just don't get it.

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