A Simple Plan
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Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 12-MAR-2002
Media Type: DVD
Top Customer Reviews
Cast: Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget Fonda, Brent Briscoe, Jack Walsh, Chelcie Ross, Becky Ann Baker, Gary Cole, Bob Davis.
Running Time: 121 minutes
Rated R for violence and language.
This is a diabolical tale about the wages of greed. Although it is played straight without intentional humor, the irony is so delicious at times that you might find yourself laughing. Jacob Mitchell (Billy Bob Thornton) is the one who begins to feel evil, and rightly so as the bodies begin to pile up. His presumably smarter brother Hank (Bill Paxton) feels mostly fear as he struggles to cover up one mishap after another. Their problems begin when they and Jacob's buddy Lou Chambers (Brent Briscoe) stumble onto a downed airplane in the woods covered with snow in which they find one dead person being feasted on by crows and a duffle bag full of hundred dollar bills. Lou, who might represent the common man, says, let's keep it. Hank, who could be rational man, says, whoa, this money belongs to somebody and besides we could get into trouble. We better turn it in. And Jacob, who is the natural man, sides with his buddy Lou. After all they're country poor and this is probably drug money that nobody is going to miss. And anyway, what can go wrong?
Well, as Ben Franklin observed a long time ago, `Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.' As they wait for spring to come and the plane to be discovered before they risk spending the money, the `simple plan' begins to unravel with horrific consequences. Thornton and Briscoe play country boys to perfection, and Paxton does a great job as a small town golden boy seriously compromised. Bridget Fonda plays Hank's pregnant wife, who turns out to be the brains (as it were) of the group.Read more ›
Bill Paxton plays Hank Mitchell, a working-class man who works at a local feed store to support he and his pregnant wife, Sarah, played by Bridget Fonda. He has a brother, Jacob, who is played by Billy Bob Thornton; Jacob, along with his pal Lou Chambers (Brent Briscoe), are the town's resident drunks. One snowy day, after a visit to their father's grave, Hank and Jacob, with Lou along for the ride, have an accident that sends Jacob's dog running into the woods. While looking for the dog, they come across a downed charter plane, its pilot dead, with a gym bag of four million dollar in tow.
The three waste no time tearing into the bag of "lost treasure," despite Hank's reservations about keeping the money. But Jacob and Lou have other plans, those which do not include alerting the proper authorities as to their recent find. After a heated argument, they agree that they will wait to split the money until they feel certain that no one will come looking for it. Just for safekeeping, Hank takes charge of the money, which soon takes charge of his good-hearted nature.
As the plot thickens, things begin to work into a frenzy. Sarah, now overcome with the idea of a wealthy life, urges Hank to keep a close watch on Lou, as well as Jacob, who becomes increasingly unstable as things reach new heights of desperation.Read more ›
SPOILER ALERT: The three men discover a huge sum of money ($4.4 million) and talk themselves out of turning it in to the authorities, preferring instead to follow a "simple plan": hide it for a year, until "the heat is off" and then split it up and leave town. After all it is probably "dirty money" from some drug deal, and no one will be the worse for it....right? Unfortunately, the magnitude of this windfall is so great that it joins forces with the inherent weaknesses of human nature to completely undermine this "simple plan" and wreak havoc upon our "seemingly normal" characters, their neighbors, and associates.
The film is often compared to the Coen Brothers' "Fargo", partially due to the stark, expansive, snowy setting, but I feel that it also compares quite favorably to their first, classic 1984 film "Blood Simple", in which another "simple plan" leads to an ungodly tangle of murder and mayhem. Watch both, and you decide.
There are several violent plot twists, but to me the most impressive twists were of the psychological kind, and thus perhaps too subtle for those interested only in "blood and guts". Billy Bob turns in a magnificent performance as he gradually reveals himself to be not the dim-witted bum we thought, but a kind, sensitive, intelligent, and ultimately compelling individual.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When I saw A Simple Plan in a movie theater in 1998, I kept thinking that I had seen the story before. Read morePublished 3 days ago by J. Chambers
A good twisted plot story. My wife say's book was better than movie, but I thought movie was fine for Sat. night small screen entertainment.Published 6 days ago by Stephen Weiss
One of Raimi's best films, this really delves into the minds of people who are good, but corrupted by greed and allowing it to be more important than the lives of others. Read morePublished 3 months ago by QuickSilverSeven