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I must first start with an apology. I don't own this film on vhs - but hopefully I will soon. Basically I was sitting there on a Friday night, knackered after a week at work and a couple of beers, and started flicking through the channels. I came across this film which gripped my interest, a series of flash backs detailing the kidnapping of a wealthy gangster chief by four gawky college (that's university to all us brits) students, with a couple of comical gangsters driving around. After watching til about two I decided I wanted to order it, but I really want to do a review to try and convince as many people to watch it as possible. Further to the prior apology, my memories of the film aren't too detailed I'm afraid, but I do promise that when I receive the video I will update this completely so please, please don't treat this review too harshly! Although, if you do I promise not to track you down and sever any limbs? Here are the basics: There are four rich college boys, old friends from school, one of whom has a gorgeous sister, whom another of the guys is going out with. The sister is kidnapped by a gang who demand a two million dollar ransom. Unfortunately the parents of the girl can't afford the ransom (although why this was was explained before I began watching it, but I'll hopefully be able to explain this slight stumbling block in the plot when I receive the vid). The police also prove to be useless, so the boys come up with a plan to kidnap a big time crime chief (Christopher Walken) who regularly eats at the same restaurant as them. They duly do so, in a rather disastrous sequence, and when he wakes up he finds they have severed his finger after receiving the sister's finger through the post. He is also in the rich mansion of a fifth friend's father who turns up believing that his friends were borrowing it for a poker evening. This character is hilarious and the interaction between the
characters is beautifully played. After threats of the loss of subsequent limbs Walken's character sets the ball rolling, contacting his lawyer who gets in touch with Lono, a humorously psychotic hitman who is fiercely loyal to Walken. Walken also learns that there may have been an insider in the group of friends who helped in the abduction of the sister. He skilfully manipulates the students, and the fifth's friends hapless investigation into the culprit is hilarious. Without giving anymore away, there are two great twists towards the end, which just blew my mind! I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and came away with that satisfied feeling that I had watched an intensely clever and moving work of art. I would thoroughly recommend watching this film, but promise to give an update on my opinion after a stone cold watching of copy that I hope I will be able to order soon!
When it comes to choosing a film to watch there's a lot of different criteria people can use to make their decision. Perhaps it's the genre, director or actors involved. Others may go on a friends recommendation or that of review either in a magazine or online. I came to see ?Suicide Kings' on the basis that the Region 1 disk was available from a well known online store for under £7. For a new release at the time I thought I had nothing to lose by buying. Was I wrong?. No... in fact I would have gladly paid full price for this film as I enjoyed it immensely. Christopher Walken takes the leading role as Charlie Bennet a man with a past. In fact at one time he was one of the leading mobsters in New York Then he was known as Carlo Bartolucci and was a man both feared and respected. One day he goes to his usual club to find a group of wealthy young men at his favourite table. They recognise him and he agrees to have a drink with them. They decide to leave and ask him to join them, a decision he will regret. It turns out that one of the men has had his sister kidnapped by an unknown source and they decide what better way to find the kidnappers than to take Charlie hostage and use his connections to find the missing girl. The pace of the opening scenes is somewhat frenetic but things soon fall into place and we are left with an extremely well made thriller with some lighter moments thrown in for good measure. The film also stars Dennis Leary as Charlie's right hand man Lono Veccio who has the task of finding the girl and his boss. Some of the dialogue in the film is reminiscent of a Tarantino flick and in particular the character of Lono is similar to that of Vincent Vega from 'Pulp Fiction'. Leary is perfect as the fast talking henchman and is well suited to this role. Walken is the perfectly cast as Bartolucci and the rest of mainly young cast are also fine. The plot twists towards the end of the film
reminded somewhat of 'Wild Things' but 'Suicide Kings' is good film and one that is easy to miss. I'm glad I didn't let it slip by unnoticed.