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Suicide Kings


Suicide Kings

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"You can't tell a story," complains one amateur kidnapper to another about halfway through the slipshod crime comedy Suicide Kings. "You screw it up every time." Aside from inviting a few ironic chuckles, those lines could fairly describe the "Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention" storytelling quality of this confusing jumble, which staggers, backtracks, and launches on tangents that belong on the cutting-room floor. Neo-Brat Packers Jay Mohr (Jerry Maguire), Jeremy Sisto (Clueless), Sean Patrick Flanery (Powder), Henry Thomas (E.T.), and Johnny Galecki (Roseanne) play wealthy boarding-school buddies who concoct a desperate scheme when Thomas' sister is abducted for a $2 million ransom. They kidnap former New York City Mafia boss Christopher Walken, now a reformed and lawful citizen, and bring him back to a Long Island estate in the hope that he'll use his old connections to track her down. Rather than develop its own comic premise—the cascading errors of incompetent crooks in the face of a consummate professional—Suicide Kings is another installment in a series of irritating aftershocks following Pulp Fiction and The Usual Suspects. Tarantinoism may have finally reached its nadir in a scene in which mob henchman Denis Leary is given three whole scenes to finish a long, unfunny, expletive-laced monologue about footwear. The only redeeming moments come from Walken, whose assured, effortless screen presence stands out from his faceless co-stars. Taped to a leather chair and bleeding profusely from a severed finger, he's still the most powerful person in the room.