2 Days In The Valley – Review

2 Days in the Valley

with Danny Aiello, Greg Cruttwell, Jeff Daniels, Teri Hatcher, Glenne Headly, Peter Horton, Marsha Mason, Paul Mazursky, James Spader, Eric Stoltz, Charlize Theron
Written and Directed by John Herzfeld
(HBO, 1996)
by Scott Hefflon

2 Days in the Valley wants to be Pulp Fiction so badly it hurts. Us, I mean. Yes, of course there are some really cool details and quotable one-liners, but the linking of semi-interesting characters into one semi-interesting drama is just not even close, bub. Danny Aiello plays Dosmo, an on-the-rebound, toupee-wearing hitman with a thing against dogs. He gets shot and blown up, then takes hostages in order to get out of town. Allan (Cruttwell), the rich prick with kidney stones, and his assistant Susan (Headly) who, surprise, surprise, actually knows the hitman from his “between-jobs” gig flipping pies at Paulie’s Pizza, are the first to be taken hostage. They’re soon followed by Teddy (Mazursky), the suicidal, failed film director, and his new squeeze, Nurse Audrey (Mason), Allan’s brother. Cold masterminder Lee (Spader), the one who blew up Aiello and has a fascination with the life-changing potential of a single minute, and his Amazon model girlfriend with an amazing rack, Helga (Theron), try to collect the money earned by offing Olympic-losing athlete Becky (Hatcher)’s ex-husband Roy (Horton), who doesn’t live long enough to have a personality, in their bed. The first two cops on the murder scene, after a touching encounter (no, I mean it) at a Japanese massage parlor, are Wes (Stoltz), the sensitive guy who really wants to be a detective, and Alvin (Daniels), whose wife left him, who misses his kid on his birthday, just got suspended for erratic behavior unbecoming of a police officer, and pulls his gun on golfers for continuously breaking his living room window. Did I miss anyone? Who the fuck cares? Spader plays such a slicked-hair, cold-hearted killer it doesn’t matter much who he runs into, as long as he gets to taunt them a moment or so before pumping a bit o’ lead in ’em. And Cruttwell, the pouting rich shithead who I recall was equally loathsome in Naked, gets bitch-slapped and finally punched out for whining like a baby – something I’d like to see happen more often on the silver screen and in real life. The Amazon and the Athlete (I think that’s the next over-hyped Disney blockbuster we’re all going to get suckered into seeing) wrestle around their hotel room wearing extremely tight clothing, and Aiello gets the girl in the end. Sure, 2 Days in the Valley is a good movie, but Pulp Fiction is a great movie.

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