You Got Nothin'

Dir: Philip Angelotti Jr.
Star: Philip Angelotti Jr., Steven Langa, Brian McNamara, Ellina McCormick.

After an odd opening where the film seems unsure as to the decade, I was preparing to write this off as another "funny gangster" film, treading where far too many movies have gone before. But somewhere in the middle - maybe the bit with the sun-roof, or the attempt to cut a finger off the corpse at a funeral - I realised that while not the most original movie of the year (or even the weekend), I was enjoying myself regardless. Low-level New Jersey wise guys Joey and Dominick (Angelotti and Langa) are sent to LA to wring $400 grand out of a guy who cut and ran. They kidnap his 10 year-old daughter, unaware she's the only one who knows his computer password, so he can't get his money...or the $10m he was laundering for Cuban gangsters. Oh, and Joey is also seeing his boss's daughter on the sly - at least until a mix-up involving lingerie and the aforementioned finger.

The plot certainly has flaws; no-one ever does the obvious and ask the daughter for the password - if they did, it would all fall apart. However, despite often being painfully obvious - don't ask your dumb henchman to "take out the dog" - there is enough that's genuinely amusing to overcome its deficiencies. The actors have a good handle on their characters, and the script moves briskly along, though some scenes, such as the one at the race-track, peter out aimlessly instead of connecting smoothly to the rest of the film. Still, Angelotti's love for his creations comes through strong, and is more effective than the overworn subject matter would suggest.

Apr 2004

[Director Philip Angelotti Jr. writes: "I just wanted to clarify the fundamental reason why no-one asks the daughter for the password: The two guys who kidnap the daughter (Joey and Dom) are only using her as leverage to get back their money owed to them by her father. They completely have no idea about any account worth 10 million dollars or that the little girl in fact has the password to this account. They just took the girl thinking the father would give them their money back from a previous business deal in exchange for the girl. Her father (Willy) never lets them know about this account or the fact that his daughter has the password. The Cubans (Carlos and Javier) who are doing business with her father are in fact aware the girl has the password and are hunting her down to get it, but they never actually catch the girl to confront her and ask her that question."]

Men With Guns
See also... [Index] [Next] [Previous] [TC Home Page]