Eye For Film >> Movies >> Best Men (1998) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
The thieves are heroes. The Feds are bad guys. The scriptwriters went on holiday together and forgot what day it was.
As a piece of eccentric filmmaking, you could do worse. If you looked hard enough. Its absurdity is its charm. Where else would you find a sheriff (Fred Ward) chatting to his son (Sean Patrick Flanery), known as Hamlet to the TV nets and assorted journos, because of an insistence on quoting Shakespeare when robbing banks, about their relationship with his dead wife (the boy's mom), while sharpshooters train megadeath on them from high buildings? Either the whole thing's a farce, disguised as left field action adventure, or Tamra Davis has no sense of humour and can't tell the funny bits from the soft 'n' sentimental.
Jesse (Luke Wilson) comes out of Californian chokey to be met in the heat of the morning by his best mates in dinner jackets. It's his wedding day and they are there to get him to the church on time, except Billy (Flanery), who has to stop off at the bank to pull of a Bardic raid. It all goes wrong, the buddies are dragged in and the FBI take charge. Buzz (Dead Cain) is an ex-Green Beret, with accentuated national pride, an arsenal of hand guns and a sexual preference disorder. Teddy is the nerd jokester who falls over his feet and Sol the cowardly Jewish lawyer who comes good in the end.
Flanery overacts so intently, he can't walk straight. It's as if he never recovered from that date with Dicky III. Drew Barrymore storms in, dressed as a bride, and behaves in her usual loud way. No-one tells her she's in the wrong movie. Cain plays the classic gay icon, worked-out, sculpted and such a brave boy. Ward, who is worth so much more than this, can only choke on his lines and Brad Dourif, who specialises in dangerous loonies, relieves the male bonding sessions in the besieged bank building with a bespoke performance of a Vietnam vet gone AWOL upstairs. Meanwhile, out in the streets, the FBI chief asks his deputy, "Do you ever have one of those days when you want to mow down the whole fucking crowd?" Well, no, actually.Reviewed on: 06 Apr 2003