(Review originally written at 11 September 2010)

This is obviously one of those gangster movies to tries very hard to be just like "Goodfellas". But instead of focusing mostly on one character it has three of them. Problem is, there is absolutely nothing good, interesting or original ever happening in the movie. It's a real lackluster movie that lacks at basically every department.

Bad writing, bad directing, bad acting, bad editing. The movie is suffering from all these things. Really, I would had been OK for this movie to 'borrow' from other genre movies, if it would had been only done in a good and original way. This is obviously just not the case with this movie.

The story really isn't going anywhere, or perhaps it feels that way because it is so clichéd. You basically know beforehand what is going to happen in a scene and how things are going to end up eventually. The story is far from an involving one really because we just never really get into any of the characters. The movie tries to present the three main characters as just average guys, who due to circumstances get caught up in bad situations and get tangled in with the underworld. But thing is, they don't come across as average normal guys at all. They each have their own very clichéd and cardboard, forced personalities. Here we have a sweet guy, a bad guy and a in-between guy, basically. It's also odd how the movie throws in some uninteresting plot-lines for them and then decides to completely focus on them. I mean, when I watch a gangster flick I'm just not that interested in seeing a guy trying to make it at school. The movie could at least had been more interesting if it focused on the Scott Caan characters instead of on the Freddie Prinze Jr. one.

And watching Freddie Prinze Jr. acting tough really made me laugh. It really isn't working out very convincing in this movie. He just comes across as a guy who got bullied himself at high school but now he is acting as the tough guy in movies. It's laughable really and his acting comes across as horrible because of this. He is really miscast and Alec Baldwin totally feels out of place as well. I just kept waiting for them to finally do something interesting with his character and they could and should had easily made him an important part of the story but he only shows up a couple of times and to be frank, it feels a bit forced all because his character really doesn't add that much at all. To me, this was perhaps the biggest disappointment of the movie, since I am quite fond of Alec Baldwin and was interested in seeing him in this type of role.

With only a few minor changes this movie still could had been a decent one, at it's very least, to watch. Besides different casting and changing the focus of the movie they could had made things a bit more raw and edgier. After all, this is a gangster movie but the movie doesn't really feel as one at all because there is nothing interesting, crime-wise, or violence-wise happening really. Why not put in a big criminal kind of plot, like an heist or hit or something. I'm just making this stuff up as I'm writing this, then how come the writers of this movie didn't think about any of these things. They knew they were writing a gangster movie right? Perhaps it was due to budgeting reasons but this movie is totally lacking the right atmosphere. They could had made the movie moodier if they made the movie a bit more dark to watch. Now it really feels like you are watching a cheap television-series episode. Just a couple of things that would had made this movie so much better to watch.

A real pointless and redundant genre effort, that is lacking at every department. Yes, there are far worse movies to watch out there but that doesn't mean that this movie is a good one either.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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