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Laramie Movie Scope:
Kiss of Death

Mediocre gangster film

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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May 8, 1995 -- I usually don't watch gangster films, but I decided to go see "Kiss of Death" because I had liked David Caruso so much in ``NYPD Blue.''

In this film Caruso plays a crook, Jimmy Kilmartin, who's trying to go straight, but gets pulled back into the system to do ``one last job'' that goes bad. Sound familiar?

After he gets double-crossed by the crook he went to prison for, he decides to do a double cross of his own, then he has to do another double cross to get out of a jam with the law. The problems I have with gangster films include this constant double-crossing, the lack of morality and the violence. This film has all of those elements.

Nicolas Cage is scary as the crazy Little Junior Brown, who runs a chop shop and Samuel L. Jackson plays a cop who wants to get even with Jimmy and Stanley Tucci plays an unscrupulous prosecutor, who is one of many double-crossers in the film.

I thought Caruso's performance was adequate, but not outstanding. There are many capable actors in the film and they all do a good job with the material. The real problem with this film is a so-so screenplay. The dialogue is lame and many scenes lack any real suspense. It has average entertainment value, but it could have been a lot better. It rates a C.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)