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03.12.08

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Phaedra

The Kill Point

Two discs; Lionsgate; $33.99

By Michael S. Gant


Dog Day Afternoon meets Inside Man in an eight-episode miniseries that ran on Spike TV last summer. John Leguizamo, a pissed-off Iraq vet, leads his old platoon into a Pittsburgh bank. The robbery escalates into a hostage situation, and Donnie Wahlberg must do what all movie/TV hostage negotiators must do: cajole, stall and, finally, order takeout for everybody. In a weird character tic, Wahlberg berates people about punctuation, including a misplaced possessive apostrophe. Leguizamo does a decent Al Pacino imitation, venturing outside the bank to exhort the onlookers. Christine Evangelista, who plays the sexy hostage, was just seen starring in the indie comedy Goodbye Baby at Cinequest. Nice to see four vets from The Wire get jobs, even if their parts are criminally underwritten: Leo Fitzpatrick (Bubs' junkie pal Johnny) and J.D. WIlliams (Bodie) as robbers, and Michael Hyatt (D'Angelo Barksdale's scary mom) and Michael K. Williams (the people's hero, Omar) as a sniper—"The black Maximus," as he calls himself. The real hook comes in the complaints of the disaffected Iraq soldiers—that they were sent to fight and were forgotten by an ungrateful nation; the genre of the crazed Vietnam vet lives on in a new century. We may be seeing a lot more (and better, one hopes) films like this if John McCain has his way and the war lasts 100 years.


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