2 Days in the Valley

Bomb Rating: 

Mix in a little "Slackers" with a little "Pulp Fiction" and youhave the ultimate Generation X movie: A bunch of quirky characters (played by an eclectic cast of actors) run around, say hip things and nobody has the slightest idea what the others are doing until the final few minutes when they all come together in an orgasmic denouement that attempts to explain both the meaning of life and why we all paid seven bucks to sit through the film in the first place.

In a bold, brilliant casting move, writer/director John Herzfeld enlists Danny Aiello to play a down-and-out Italian hit man who cooks sauce and pasta for the people he's kidnapped. Aside from the fact that I'm sick of looking at Danny Aiello's butt-ugly features, I'm also sick of listening to him have some discussion of Italian food in every single movie he's in. When casting directors ask Aiello about his range, his retort is: "Gas or Electric?"

If I had to guess, I'd say Herzfeld wrote down the plot of his story on index cards then threw the whole batch into the air. Lee Woods (James Spader) is a hit man who hires Dosmo Pizzo (Aiello). Together they kill Roy Foxx (Peter Horton) while he's sleeping next to his ex-wife, Becky Foxx (Teri Hatcher). Complications ensue. Lee tries to kill Dosmo. Dosmo kidnaps some people. Becky freaks. A police officer, Wes Taylor (Eric Stoltz), suspects the whole shooting to be a scam.

The appearance of Eric Stoltz in any film is a sure giveaway to one of the following: discontinuity ("Pulp Fiction"), clever GenX dialogue ("Kicking and Screaming", "Sleep With Me"), gorgeous naked women sitting on top of him ("The Waterdance", Killing Zoe") or disfigurement ("The Fly II", "Mask"). It's also a sure sign that a film is trying very, very hard to be hip. However, as John Herzfeld proves, even the hippest films sometimes suck.

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