Suicide Kings

SUICIDE KINGS. 1997

Director: Peter O'Fallon

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Part gangland farce, part rivetting thriller, Christopher Walken is a calm calculating mob boss kidnapped by a group of ivy league nitwits with a naive plan. The kidnappers believe Walken is worth a couple million in ransom, the amount they need to pay a ransom of their own, for a sister of one of the crew who nabbed Walken, or they hope the captive can be strongarmed into putting his people to work finding & saving the sister.

Reminiscent of Reservoir Dogs (1992) but not imitative, the comedy of Suicide Kings is extremely dark, the violence is creepy, the dialogue smart. The misguided kidnappers cut off one of the mobster's fingers as proof that they've got him, only to discover he's a bleeder & they can't quite stop him from bleeding. As he slowly drip-drop-drips toward a possible death, he uses his greater intellect to manipulate & screw with them even as he grows weaker taped to a chair.

This & The Ref (1994) provide Denis Leary his only two great performances. I'm not ordinarily a Leary fan but as the mobster's excitable henchman, he's a scary hoot zipping around town trying to find the sister &/or his boss. He provides a jazzed-up counterbalance to Walken's coolness. The ensemble cast does a fantastic job here. A genuinely twisted ending caps this story, & makes this film a doozy.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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