14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Enjoy it on its own terms,
This review is from: The Way of the Gun (DVD)
Does this movie compare to THE USUAL SUSPECTS?
Does it matter?
Anyone brilliant enough to write the screenplay for SUSPECTS must have more than one movie in him, and McQuarrie proves he does with this. Some reviewers remarked about how he doesn't make you care for the characters in his film. And I think they missed the point: you're not supposed to. McQuarrie figures out how to make you enjoy watching them without either caring about them or being totally replused by them. He achieves a sacred principle of both writing and directing--making it a lot easier on even great actors like Del Toro and James Caan: freeing you from existential judgment or the self-referentialness lessor screen writers can fall into. This creates room for the nilhist philosophy and betrayal that competes with anything that can be called deep and abiding love whereever it occurs in this film.
EVERYONE in this movie is a "bag man;" even the unborn children. As such McQuarrie is saying something pretty deep about the modern world in total. And yet he does it in the context of not boring us to tears with preaching or burdening our minds with too much philosophy, pertinent or otherwise. All while giving us some of the most innovative car chases and shoot-em-up action scenes done in some time.
This movie came out in 2000, and to see how the actors have evolved since then is refreshing and exhilharating all by itself. Caan looks about ten years younger in the successful NBC-TV show LAS VEGAS of today than he does in this movie; showing off, obviously, the prodigious acting skills that forever remind us that THE GODFATHER was no fluke. (He is acting older and more beat down in this movie than he probably ever has been.) Every actor puts in some serious work in this, and make it worth seeing, and worth owning. And McQuarrie's writing and directing make it worth thinking about afterwards.