Herzfeld tries another Tarantino style movie5/10
The plot: Kearny, a loser convict,is pushed into impersonating Bobby Z, a larger-than-life drug dealer, in a hostage trade, only to find both his own and Bobby Z's enemies trying to kill him.
Herzfeld previously directed 2 Days in the Valley, a Tarantino ripoff if ever there was one. However, unlike most people, I actually kind of liked it. This movie is another attempt to clone Tarantino's style, heavy on flashbacks, stylized violence, and witty anti-heroes. Unfortunately, it's not all that great, but it did manage to keep my interest for the runtime.
Bobby Z is built up as a small-time celebrity in the local surfer scene, as well as a rising star in drug distribution. Kearney, on the other hand, is a three time loser with a price on his head. The movie compares and contrasts their personalities many times, with Bobby Z being revealed as a manipulative, egocentric jerk, while Kearney shows many admirable qualities despite his impulsive violence.
After a somewhat grim opening, the movie becomes quite lighthearted. In fact, I'm really at a loss as to why they even opened the movie with such a dark and disturbing bit of character development if they were just going to completely ignore it for the rest of the film. Oh well. Much of the movie is like this, however. Whenever anything shocking and dramatic happens, it's instantly forgotten by the next scene, where everyone pretends that it never happened. Even being shot seems to be glossed over rather quickly with some cursory first aid. It reminded me of a video game, where picking up a first aid kit heals your character of all wounds.
The acting was passable. It was certainly better than many direct-to-video movies, but nobody really stood out. I guess the script didn't really allow anyone to shine, though I was probably most disappointed that Laurence Fishburne was given such a bland role. Still, it's always fun to see him, even if it's in such a small and cliched role.
If you're looking for an action movie, this will probably satisfy you, but I'd be surprised if you remembered it later or recommended it to your friends.