Milwaukee, Minnesota

Milwaukee, Minnesota


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

From the first moment you meet Albert, you know you're going to hate this movie. It's partly the way Troy Garity plays him, but also an intuition that nothing good will come of it.

Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man was brilliant with numbers. Albert is brilliant with fish. Pretending to be mentally defective is not as easy as it looks. Tom Hanks did a great job with Forrest Gump and Hoffman, too, with his autistic mathematician, but Garity looks like an overgrown nine-year-old who has overdosed on meringues.

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Albert lives with his domineering, bossy, bullying, unhappy, horrible mother (Debra Monk). Nice Mr McNally (Bruce Dern) at the convenience store lets him work there, but worries when he spends too much time photocopying $20 bills. He tells him to stop, because it is not allowed.

Surprisingly - and this is the hook upon which the movie hangs - Albert is rolling in it. He keeps winning angling competitions ("The fishes taught me how to catch them") and they keep giving him money. Of course, this attracts bad people who want to steal the money.

Candy from a baby? $80,000 from a retard? Same thing, my friend. Except it's not, because this is a movie and Albert is the nice guy.

The hyenas line up. Tuey (Alison Folland) is an itinerant glue-sniffing bitch scamstress, with the looks of a cheap tart and the instincts of a rattlesnake. She travels with her weedy brother (Hank Harris), who is convinced he's dying of testicular cancer.

Jerry (Randy Quaid) is a confidence trickster, sidelining as a cut-price assassin. His smooth chat up technique is hampered by an appalling taste in casual wear. He might as well be carrying a placard that reads: NOT TO BE TRUSTED.

Tuey attempts to seduce Albert and Jerry impersonates his dead dad. The mother has disappeared for reasons that beggar belief and so it's open season for halfwits. Watching Albert being bamboozled and humiliated is hardly entertainment, like watching a rerun of The Massacre Of The Innocents.

It is difficult to know where Milwaukee, Minnesota fits into the genre pool. Black comedy? Film noir? The title doesn't help.

Badly acted, badly directed, emotionally irresponsible and dramatically unconvincing, this is a grilse that should have been thrown back.

Reviewed on: 04 Dec 2004
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Mentally defective angling champ becomes the target for itinerant criminals.
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Nicky Falkof **

Director: Allan Mindel

Writer: Richard Murphy

Starring: Troy Garity, Alison Folland, Randy Quaid, Bruce Dern, Hank Harris, Debra Monk, Josh Brolin, Holly Woodlawn

Year: 2003

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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