(USA - 1997)
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Super 35)
Theatrical soundtrack: Dolby Digital
Tamra Davis' OK comedy-drama toplines Sean Patrick Flanery (POWDER) as a Shakespeare-spouting bank robber whose latest heist goes spectacularly awry when a group of his closest friends (Dean Cain, Luke Wilson, Andy Dick and Mitchell Whitfield) stumble into the very same bank whilst on their way to Wilson's wedding, obliging them to join forces with Flanery and take staff and customers hostage as the building is besieged by trigger-happy cops. Raymond J. Barry is the hard-nosed FBI agent who takes charge of the situation from sheriff Fred Ward (playing Flanery's estranged father!), employing heavy-handed methods which ultimately threaten the lives of everyone in the immediate area.
Narrative parallels with DOG DAY AFTERNOON are acknowledged in the dialogue (there's also a hint of THELMA & LOUISE, and a significant dollop of BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID), but Davis and her scriptwriters (Art Edler Brown and Tracy Fraim) forego heavy drama for a light-hearted examination of friendship under duress, at least until the climactic showdown, when events take a slightly darker turn. Nicely played by an experienced cast, the movie takes time to establish a roster of likeable characters, particularly Cain as an ex-Green Beret whose dreams of a military career were shattered when the Army discharged him for being gay, and Brad Dourif as one of the hostages, a fiercely loyal Vietnam vet whose own Army service ended when he dared to question his superiors' ethics. Drew Barrymore gets lost in the mix as Wilson's bride-to-be, left standing at the altar following his involvement in the heist, but Flanery excels as the benevolent bank robber who steals from the rich and distributes his gains amongst local orphanages; his recitals from 'Hamlet' are a highlight of the picture.