Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The meaning of the movie...

So I made a couple of references to the (in my opinion, massively underrated) movie Suicide Kings in the last couple of posts.

What I find interesting about the movie, and what seems to have gone unremarked in what little critical commentary there is on it, is a little piece of social commentary that is crucial to the plot: All the characters come from one of two "social classes". On the one hand are a bunch of prep school kids with bright futures and from the best families, and on the other are dirtbag mafiosi and street folk; junkies and pimps and whores, oh my! Guess which batch of characters turn out to be a bunch of self-serving spineless weasels who would sell their own mother for a buck and which are the ones who exhibit any trace of loyalty and self-sacrifice? Yeah, it's kind of like Blade Runner, where the only characters who display human emotions are the replicants.

In retrospect, it seems like it would be a ham-handed and preachy plot device, but it's so deftly handled that it takes me a little off-guard every time I watch it.

9 comments:

Cond0010 said...

Hmmm... Thanks. Its on my radar, now.

eeky said...

Wow, somebody else likes that movie?

I may just have to put on my fish boots.

Alan J. said...

This movie really came together with a great script and a fantastic cast. Christopher Walken and Denis Leary, as we've already discussed; but also with Jay Mohr, Sean Patrick Flanery, and even Johnny Galecki. Interestingly, Johnny Galecki's character is easily identifiable as Leonard, the same nerdy nice guy that he now plays on Big Bang Theory. Not sure if he's type cast or just playing to his strengths, but he's great in both roles.

og said...

I will rent this, based on the strength of the clip you linked to, alone.

Having been in and around those type of tuneups quite a number of times, I can tell you, that's as close to the way it actually happens as you're ever likely to see on film.

Anonymous said...

"Guess which batch of characters turn out to be a bunch of self-serving spineless weasels who would sell their own mother for a buck and which are the ones who exhibit any trace of loyalty and self-sacrifice?"

My guess, since loyalty and self-sacrifice are the raw ingredients of good families and bright futures, and dirtbags, junkies, and pimps often actually have sold out their own mothers, is that the reality is obvious.

That doesn't make for a great sanctimonious plot device however, so there you have it.

But there is Walken and Leary. And that's enough.

AT

wv: gonna...I ain't watched Suicide Kings yet, but I'm gonna.

Atom Smasher said...

"Ira, you're the man."

Fodder4Thought said...

That reminds me - I have to buy a busket.

Joanna said...

My guess, since loyalty and self-sacrifice are the raw ingredients of good families and bright futures, and dirtbags, junkies, and pimps often actually have sold out their own mothers, is that the reality is obvious.

That doesn't make for a great sanctimonious plot device however, so there you have it.


They're not from "good" families, they're from the "best" families -- big difference.

Anonymous said...

"big difference."

Yes there is, thank you.

And of course Tam's positive review of the handling of a typically tortured and even self-loathing plot device is not something I take lightly...even if by her nose crap goes from putrid and smelly to earthy and aromatic by the mere proximity of certain umm, talent.

AT