Monday, October 26, 2015

15 Minutes (2001)

Salute to Television Movie #5

This would have been perfect for my tribute to Robert De Niro awhile ago. 

Synopsis: Ever wanted to see De Niro sleepwalk his way through a by-the-numbers buddy cop movie with stereotypical Eurotrash villains and a pretentious “message” about tabloid television? This is your lucky day...

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Today, there are just three requirements for murder: the motive, the means... and the media. Robert De Niro and Edward Burns pack serious heat into this super-charged action thriller.” 

What Did I Learn?: I wouldn’t think that a shiny purple shirt would go with a brown-checked jacket, but De Niro somehow makes it work. 

Really?: 1) Strange how the movie is titled 15 Minutes, and it’s all about criminals trying to become infamous, yet nobody once references Andy Warhol’s famous quotation. 2) So, is Robert Hawkins (Kelsey Grammar) basically a decent bloke who sometimes has to be an asshole for the sake of his job, or a despicable human being? This is never made entirely clear, and I’d say his character is badly developed. 3) Hmm.... does Jordy Warsaw have any other arson cases to investigate? How does a Fire Marshall spend all of his time hanging around a homicide investigator after their one case together is pretty much taken out of his hands? 4) You know, I’m pretty sure that insanity pleas aren’t that easy to argue in court. 5) Wait, what’s the point of Jordy taking Oleg hostage and driving him to some deserted warehouse? Does he want to inflict some pain on the guy? And why does he show up when Oleg is taken from the courtroom just to yell some lame “what about the victims?” rhetoric? This is just bad writing. 

Rating: I wouldn’t say that 15 Minutes is a bad movie, but it comes perilously close to becoming one for a number of reasons (see: “Synopsis” and “Really?”). Check it out only if you’re a die-hard De Niro fan, and you want to see him spoof his own work in Taxi Driver (rehearsing lines in front of a mirror) and The King of Comedy (a celebrity who gets kidnapped, and then tied up by a couple of petty criminals). 5.5/10 stars.

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