Montana

-

Montana

A good rule of thumb for movies in which a character expresses a deep, almost religious desire to settle down in an idyllic, highly symbolic place—preferably one referenced in the film's title—is that one of two things will happen to that character right before the credits roll: He or she will either die a slow, painful death before reaching said highly symbolic location, or finally reach that mythical destination at the end of the film, usually accompanied by tears of joy or sorrow. In this regard, Montana, a strangely endearing crime drama that originally aired on HBO, does not disappoint. Kyra Sedgwick stars as a tough, ballsy hitperson who finds herself on the outs with her boss (Robbie Coltrane) after Coltrane's son (an insufferable Ethan Embry, playing a hard-boiled variation on the doe-eyed, perpetually blinking dreamers he plays in Can't Hardly Wait and That Thing You Do!) is accidentally killed while under her supervision. Like Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead, a similarly self-infatuated piece of would-be pulp fiction, Montana improves immeasurably when it shifts focus from its rogue's gallery of quirkily familiar criminal types to its two main characters: Sedgwick and her co-worker best friend, a dapper, terminally ill hitman played by a wonderfully subdued Stanley Tucci. The dying criminal hoping to go out with some degree of dignity is a stock character in crime films—Christopher Lloyd played a similar role in Things To Do In Denver—but Tucci overcomes the hoariness of his character's conception to deliver an original, sensitive, strangely touching performance. Montana may not be much more than a well-made crime drama, but a fine cast and sharp writing make it an unexpectedly enjoyable, oddly resonant little film.

More DVD Review