Monday, January 11, 2010

High Stakes

(Larry Kent, 1986)
How about that - this vulgar, silly, stubbornly obvious movie is actually laugh-out-loud funny. For a while, in fact, it is so breathlessly energetic and so perfectly timed that it looks like it may actually bust out of its Simcom pedigree and become a lost answer film to "Crimewave". Then, sigh, the TV station antics dissolve into the dread scourge 'gangster' plot, and the narrative grows sadly saner as the second half marches on. It could be a lot worse though - the seemingly endless string of reversals and revelations at the climax isn't perfectly realized, but it does mitigate the familiarity of the Nazis-and-jewels crap. Roberta Weiss knows how to play straight lady, and Winston Rekert's lead thug has a few funny moments that could have and should have been expanded. After all, asides and nuances are bound to be lost on your audience when you're up against the manic, shticked-out teamwork of Jackson Davies and Dave Foley. In his first role, Foley has already clicked right in to his familiar, absurdist Kids in the Hall routine, and Davies makes a suitably clownish foil; in tandem with a well-attuned Larry Kent, they take a dumbfoundingly broad script and play it even broader than that - a winning tactic. Three cheers for show biz.

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