Pete Smalls (Tim Roth) is a big time director but now he has tragically died before completing what will now be his final film. Jack (Mark Boone Junior) and K. C. Munk (Peter Dinklage) attempt to go to his funeral to pay their last respects. They all used to be a team until they spiraled away from each other and for Jack and K. C. it was mostly down. K. C., once a major player, now runs a laundromat and is in deep to a loan shark who has taken his dog as collateral. Jack is teaching acting to people in refrigerator boxes. Jack’s a little off. However, Jack knows something K. C. doesn’t and it may be the answer to all his problems. The script for Pete Smalls’ last movie was actually K. C.’s. Jack has big dreams of wrestling away control of the movie away from Smalls’ widow Julia (Rosie Perez) and selling it to a different producer for millions. K. C. just wants $10,000 to get his elderly dog back.
Part heist movie, part comedy of errors and absurdities, with a heavy dose of noir complete with voice-over storytelling, Pete Smalls is Dead suffers from excess. Too many characters and definitely too many subplots. I like the style, love the acting of Junior and Dinklage, but at times it got so confusing. Then other times it drags on while we deal with another uninteresting subplot. If half of what was going on was eliminated and the other half fleshed out this would’ve been a great movie, instead it’s mediocre. Yet still worth a cheap rental for Junior, Dinklage, and the weirdness that is Steve Buscemi as a movie producer.