Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead Movie Review

The way I see it, any film starring Christopher Walken as a quadriplegic gangster has to have something going for it. And while Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead has something, I'm not quite sure what that is.

Just you're typical gangster/melodrama/black comedy/romance flick, Things To Do... is a stylish story about a few days in the life of Jimmy the Saint (Andy Garcia). Jimmy plays a mobster-gone-good whose attempt at legitimacy is a business known as "Afterlife Advice," where terminally ill clients can videotape future advice for their loved ones.

The Man With The Plan (Walken), Jimmy's old boss, soon calls him back for a special job: rough up the new boyfriend of The Man's son's ex-girlfriend (got that?)--no big deal. Jimmy then reassembles his old team of hit men, including the leper "Pieces" (Christopher Lloyd), Franchise (William Forsythe), Easy Wind (Bill Nunn), and the beyond-hyperactive Critical Bill (Treat Williams in his fabled "comeback" role). In case you haven't figured it out yet, Things To Do... is not exactly long on tastefulness.

To make the overly long story short: the gang manages to completely screw up the job, Jimmy finds himself falling in love with a girl named Dagney (Gabrielle Anwar), and a whole lot of folks get whacked. When you sort all this out, you get a plot that's mildly interesting and sometimes funny but is mainly a tedious exercise in attempted hipness. Incidentally, Scott Rosenberg's script was written in two weeks...and you can tell.

The film has its fun moments and first-timer Gary Fleder's direction isn't too tough on the viewer (it's about as aesthetically pleasing as any film made in Denver can get). Williams's performance is further over-the-top than I've seen since Jack Nicholson in Batman (not that that's a bad thing), and Fairuza Balk also turns in a startling performance as Jimmy's favorite hooker.

Other than these elements, Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead is merely average--a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to die there.

One of the things to do: fine dining.


Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, 1995


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