Sometimes you have to take a movie in context. With the movie Suicide Kings, I had to keep reminding myself that this movie was made 15 years ago. While it starred a lot of actors I knew, many of them hadn’t quite developed yet. Four friends kidnap infamous mobster Carlo Bartolucci (Christopher Walken) who also goes by Charlie Barret, in the hopes of securing the funding to pay the ransom on Avery Chasten’s (Henry Thomas) sister Elise (Laura Harris).
From the beginning things go wrong, from the sloppy and nearly fatal kidnapping of Barret to the arriving of the fifth friend Ira Reder (Johnny Galecki) who wasn’t told of the original plan and expected a simple night of poker playing. These are spoiled rich boys, each with there own demons, who truly no clue how to pull this off. Luckily this movie is not just about their ineptitude. As Barret is making inquiries as to where Elise is being held and how to deliver the funds he is told that one of his kidnappers may have also been involved in kidnapping of Elise. Figuring out who, if anyone, is a traitor finally elevates this movie a bit more than the made-for-tv event it was turning out to be.
This movie is okay but it’s not The Usual Suspects which came out two years prior. I point out the other movie because I was giving a lot of this movie a pass because well it’s over 15 years old, but then I remember one of my favorite movies of all time came in that general time period. Christopher Walken is excellent as always but the rest of the cast save maybe Denis Leary are acting a bit like it’s there first gig. Particularly disappointing is Sean Patrick Flanery who two years after this movie becomes part of the baddest brother combo ever in The Boondock Saints. In this movie I really want to just smack him. Maybe that’s how you are supposed to feel about these guys. But when the best actor in the group of friends is Jay Mohr, I’m not sure it’s all just the writing.
It’s an okay movie for a rental and there are a few laughs and an interesting plot twist, the reveal of which is one of the things that redeemed this movie for me. Just don’t go into it expecting much and you won’t be disappointed.