Review by Suzdal|
3½ stars out of 4
This is one of those movies that audiences and critics alike
avoided like the plague for some reason. But it turns out to be a
well acted and nicely plotted suspense thriller that deserves a second
chance on video.
Suspense thrillers are hard to pull off, since most audiences
have seen enough of them to have a pretty good idea what's going to happen
next, thus eliminated much of the suspense. Which is why Best Laid Plans
gets extra points for keeping a couple of aces up it's sleeve. Sure
there are a few contrivances, but overall the plot holds together well.
Point are due also for gently subverting some genre conventions-no
groundbreaking here, but a few of our expectations are nicely changed.
But the cast can make of break a film of this type, and happily
the casting here is perfect. Reese Witherspoon is one of the best young
actresses out there, from the equally ignored at the box office Freeway
and the critically acclaimed Election to the silly but guilty pleasure
Cruel Intentions she's always great. Allessandro Nivola is a less familiar
face but hopefully one who will be getting more attention-he's perfect in
this role. Josh Broling has a less sympathetic character and pulls it
off well. Also worth mentioning is Rocky Carroll as the Bad Ass Dude, with
the best dialogue in the film.
For another unjustly ignored suspense thriller with a darker tone
try Suicide Kings starring Christopher Walken. For a more lighthearted
but noirish and similarly obscure (because it was made for TV but don't
let that put you off) try A Slight Case of Murder, which stars and was
co-written by William H. Macy.