The Bag Man

The Bag Man's ending isn't perfect, but it's interesting getting there, and John Cusack and Robert De Niro are always entertaining to watch.

I was pretty much sold on The Bag Man from the trailer. I like John Cusack and Robert De Niro (is there anyone who doesn't like De Niro?), the other characters looked interesting, and of course like the tag line of the movie, you have to wonder what's in the bag.

It was a little confusing how quickly it started. I got the scene in the plane, obviously. But then there Jack is, saying Dragna's man shot him, and I thought, "Did I miss something? Did the DVD skip? Is this the trailer?" I guess we didn't need to see the scene where Jack got shot. I'm sure it saved them some money, and running time. It's an interesting introduction to Jack, I guess, being on the side of the road and having already shot the guy.

The movie had an interesting feel/tone/atmosphere/whatever you want to call it. They referred to it as a noir in the "making of," which I guess you could say it is, although I'm not that familiar with the genre and it didn't come to mind when I watched the movie. It went kind of slowly, but it was always interesting. Ned kind of bothered me, but from what I saw of Crispin Glover in the "making of," a lot of his affect wasn't acting, so that's interesting.

I guess Ned was supposed to be a little annoying. He was employed by Dragna, so I guess he was just messing with Jack the whole time. You had to feel bad for Jack the entire movie. He was really put-upon. All this stuff just kept happening to him. I liked not knowing what was up with Rivka. You always suspected that she might be a plant, or trying to get the bag, but you never really knew for sure. She was obviously a liar, but that's all you could tell. I liked that she got to keep changing her clothes, too. I did wonder exactly how many outfits she could fit in that bag. I guess at some point she could've gone to her hotel room for more clothes, though.

I was surprised Jack didn't stop in a different place to bury the body. It didn't seem like a great idea to take it to the hotel. Pimps with dwarfism and an eye patch were more entertaining in theory than in practice. I did like the car fight when people were hanging out of the door, though. I also liked the part where Rivka kicked Jack off the bar. I liked how realistic the wounds were. When people got hurt it really seemed like they got hurt, not like they were just invincible.

It was pretty short-sighted of Dragna to offer Rivka $5 million dollars if he died and not think she was going to kill him. She could've easily killed him and Jack and collected the money. Maybe he figured he was worth more to her alive since he could give her ongoing jobs that would eventually add up to more than $5 million. His lawyer was awfully easy to push over, too. You would think he would've had a better one. I liked that they were driving the same car in New York.

It was pretty messed up that Jack was carrying around his fiance's head in a bag. It seems like it's been done before with Se7en, though. I loved that Jack got shot twice in the same hand, and then in the other hand, too, to add insult to injury; or I guess injury to other injuries. It was pretty funny watching his explanation to the cops about his wife. He was so half-hearted with it. I feel like someone like Rivka would've had a lot more scars if she got beaten up so badly on just one job, but I guess that's not a crucial plot point. Maybe she had them removed.

It's always nice to see Dominic Purcell, although he's not looking so great these days. He did look better without the glasses. I liked his "just because it's inevitable doesn't mean it's imminent" line, though. Pretty threatening when you're talking about being tortured before being killed. The original title was "The Motel." Apt enough, but I think "The Bag Man" has a much better ring to it. It wasn't a bad movie. It might've wrapped up a little too nicely, though.

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