Oz (Perry) is a henpecked Montreal dentist held in virtual captivity by his sadistic wife (Arquette) and up to his eyeteeth in debt due to her father's embezzlement. Then a notorious hitman Jimmy (Willis) moves in next door, and soon Oz is caught up in an elaborate scheme to collect a finder's fee for handing Jimmy over to his arch enemy, the Chicago gangster Yanni (Pollak). Along for the ride we also have Oz's ambitious dental assistant (Peet), Jimmy's estranged but gorgeous wife (Henstridge) and Yanni's good-natured thug (Duncan).
The plot isn't nearly as complex as it thinks it is--and the story hinges on a few profoundly improbable points. But the real problem is that virtually everything in the film is at odds with itself: This is a fluffy comedy full of gruesome killing--but it's neither funny nor thrilling enough. And the characters are so meaningless that you don't care who lives or dies. Most are played as clowns with silly accents; and for a hitman with deeply held principles, Jimmy is just far too greedy. In the end, the film is mildly amusing and only bearable thanks to the considerable skills and charm of Perry and Duncan.
[15--themes, violence, language, nudity] 28.Mar.00
US release 18.Feb.00; UK release 19.May.00
"It was really funny! I do like Perry a lot, and have always liked Willis, so that made it even better. It's one of those mob-related dilemmas that gets more and more complex as things go along. Arquette's wife character is just hateful ... you wonder why Perry continues to stay with her until you realize he is stuck. He humors her by going to Chicago, supposedly to inform Jimmy the Tulip's (Willis) mob rivals about his location. Of course, he has no intention of doing so, but they find him anyway and, as they say, hilarity ensues. There are several twists and turns which I won't mention, but I found this movie thoroughly entertaining. Or maybe I just really needed a break from my life for a couple of hours! Either way, it was worth it." --Karen G, Los Angeles.
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