Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Suicide Kings

(1997)

This is probably a love it or hate it movie. I pretty much loved it. See, there’s these four rich kids (five, later, but one of them isn’t in on the plot at first) and the sister of one of them has been kidnapped. The abductors are demanding two million dollars, which none of them can get. So they come up with the bright idea of kidnapping a semi-retired mob boss, played by Christopher Walken.

They pull it off, just barely. These guys … well, they make the Three Stooges look like Newton, Einstein, and Hawking. It’s not that they are exactly stupid, but they are in way, way, way over their heads in an enterprise they have no experience of and in an environment (mob justice) they completely fail to understand. So it’s slapstick time. Their bright idea is to force Walken to find out through his street contacts where the sister is being held, and to provide the two big ones to pay them off. They say that anything that is done to the sister will be done to him. To prove they mean business, they have already cut off one of his fingers while he was knocked out from the chloroform they used on him.

Walken spends most of the movie duct-taped to a chair, but he totally dominates them. He plays them like a violin. He is supported by one of his henchmen, Denis Leary, who spends most of the movie pissed off because no one thinks it’s cool that he spent $1500 on a pair of boots made with stingray hide. (“You’re wearin’ fish boots?”) After he’s beaten a man half to death with a golf club he swears he’s moving back to steel, that this new graphite shit really sucks.

The whole movie is like that. There is some violence, but nothing to get really upset about. You might be asking yourself what these idiots planned to do with Walken when it was all over. Seems to me that killing him was their only real option, but they never intended to do that. So … did they expect he’d just let bygones be bygones … after they cut off his fucking finger? Anyway, we never see that, but there is a surprise at the end … well, maybe a couple of surprises, and for once they hung together for me, they made sense. I had a great time watching this.