out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
|*Also starring: ||Kelsey Grammer, Avery Brooks, Karel Roden, Oleg Taktarov, Melina Kanakaredes, Vera Farmiga, John DiResta, James Handy, Charlize Theron||
Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4
"In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,"
said Andy Warhol, back in 1967, and this action thriller follows a
celebrated New York Homicide Detective (Robert De Niro) who teams up
with an idealistic, young Fire Dept. Arson Investigator (Edward Burns)
to track down a pair of Eastern European killers (Karel Roden, Oleg
Taktarov). "I love America! No one is responsible for what they do,"
marvels the cunning Czech, while the Russian obsessively records their
crime spree on video tape. Using their media attention to attain fame,
they capture the attention of a glib tabloid news anchor (Kelsey Grammer)
and wind up as his lurid "Top Story."
While director/writer John Herzfeld ("2 Days in the Valley")
"borrows" much of this concept from "Network," the plot has the subtlety
of a sledgehammer. Cinematographer Jean Yves Escoffier creates edgy
suspense, particularly during the graphic arson scenes. Wearing a black
wig, Charlize Theron does a cameo as the madam at an escort service,
Melina Kankaredes ("Providence") is a reporter, and Kim Cattrall ("Sex
and the City") scores as a ruthless "If it bleeds, it leads" TV producer.
Robert De Niro's role is so reminiscent of his previous performances
that he seems to do it effortlessly, if superficially, while Edward Burns
struggles to overcome the sheer blandness of the way his part is written.
As the savvy sociopaths, Karel Roden and Oleg Taktarov steal the picture,
leaving Kelsey Grammer as a slimy, one-dimensional villain. On the Granger
Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "15 Minutes" is a gritty, satirical 6. If
sensational fame is truly the American game, we're all losers.
Copyright © 2001 Susan Granger
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