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A French musician, on his way from NYC to Seattle, meets a nurse and her sister in N.Dakota. The cute sisters join him in the repaired Volvo. The area has had a series of roadside murders and killings follow them.
Billy, a hopeless romantic, robs banks wearing business suits, in a desperate attempt to hold on to his three-timing girl friend, Selina. Billy believes Selina only likes him for the thrill that his bank robberies offer, and the gifts he bestows upon her. Wanting to give up his criminal life, he plans a final bank heist in order to buy a sailboat and sail away with Selina. Billy dons a business suit and pulls off the robbery. However, he fails to dismantle a security camera, and his face is recorded. Billy hides out at the nearby "Heartbreak Hotel," and sees his image on the television news. Before long, hotel clerks, delivery men, and drug dealers recognize Billy, and extort him for money. Meanwhile, he becomes depressed when he realizes that Selina has been unfaithful. Billy consoles himself in the arms of a prostitute named Priscilla, who soon falls in love with him.Written by
Has the skeleton of a better movie, but still not too bad
It's long been my opinion that many movies considered "bad" by most people (that aren't flat-out incompetent) are, in fact, merely "awkward" and could've been improved by some judicious editing. Gigli and Moment by Moment were both examples of this "sub-genre" of critically trashed movies. As is Bank Robber.
The premise is intriguing and makes a solid statement about greed, the media and the era (early 90s). The well-casted and underrated Patrick Dempsey gives a wonderful performance of Billy, an inept bank robber who fails to get his picture off the News. I especially liked the scene where a drug dealer unexpectedly turns up at Billy's hotel room and cons the non-druggie hero into using drugs as a form of blackmail. The dream sequences that other reviewers had trouble with are difficult to defend at first glance, but the more one thinks about them, the more they reflect the true nature of dreams and Billy's descent into madness.
There are many wonderful touches and moments in this stylish, funny film, but they are buried underneath segments where the filmmaker didn't seem to know what worked and what didn't. The film is about one or two scenes too long for its premise (but considering that this is a rather short film to begin with, perhaps they were intended as padding), spending too much time on the cops (an ill-used Judge Reinhold and Forest Whitaker) in pursuit of Billy and less time on more interesting characters.
The most grievous error in the film is the overlong segment where Billy is interviewed by an obnoxious TV reporter (Mariska Hargitay). The film treats this sequence as if it's a turning point for all involved, but the problem is, the film seems to forget all about it once the scene is over. The scene is so jarring and unnecessary that it puts a dark cloud over the rest of the film, including parts that would've worked much better without it.
The ending took me a couple of viewings to get because the explanation is buried under half-mumbled dialogue. Also, as with the rest of the film, it repeats itself and goes on too long. However, this film is definitely an original in a world of copycats (especially when compared against the cinema of over twenty-five years later), and thus its weaknesses are *almost* forgivable just because it's refreshing to see films that take chances, even if it's so obscure that most people have never heard of it, much less seen it...
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