In the limo. Ricky and Bobby think they have it made...
dir-scr Jon Favreau
with Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Faizon Love, Famke Janssen, Sean Combs, Peter Falk, Vincent Pastore, David Patrick O'Hara, Makenzie Vega, Reanna Rossi, Federico Castelluccio, Sam Rockwell
release US 13.Jul.01; UK 25.Jan.02
01/US 1h36

3 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
It's a Swingers reunion, with Favreau directing this time as well as writing and costarring with Vaughn. And the duo show that their chemistry was no fluke. Bobby (Favreau) and Ricky (Vaughn) are lifelong friends who bicker constantly like competing siblings. So it's hardly surprising that they work out their frustrations in a boxing ring. But their dead-end jobs have them down; Bobby's girlfriend (Janssen) is working as a stripper for an L.A. mobster (Falk) who offers to bring them into the mob fold. So off they go to New York on an errand, working with a sidekick (Love) and a Manhattan hood (Combs). Bobby's cool desperation works well; Ricky's incessant chatter threatens to get them killed.

The natural rhythms of the (largely improvised) script create characters and situations that are authentic, hilarious and engaging. These are real people caught between their aspirations and grim reality ... except for Ricky, who wouldn't recognise reality if it smacked him in the face. And Vaughn is the film's wild card--charming, very funny and deeply obnoxious. Favreau's more even-toned Bobby is a subtle, effective performance, and it's in the contrast between the two that the film works best. Because this is exactly how it is with lifelong friends who have grown into very different adults, but remain naive kids at heart. The script also has a great time playing with street slang and mob cliches (including a Sopranos crossover--three cast members appear here, echoing Favreau's spot in the last Sopranos series). While the you-know-it's-going-to-go-horribly-wrong scenario is a bit irritating, smart writing and directing help carry us through. As does an undercurrent of life-or-death decisions that makes it surprisingly thoughtful.
adult themes and situations, strong language, violence cert 15 21.Jan.02

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2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall