Things to do in Denver when you're Dead is one of those movies one struggles to describe. Is it a thriller? Is it a black comedy? Or is it a drama?
Things to do in Denver is many things and that is why it has become one of my favourite movies. Here we have a movie that fits perfectly in with the mid 90s wake of gangster thrillers that was revived by Quentin Tarantino, yet Things to do in Denver moves away from the standard gangster movies for a number of reasons.
First is the underlying messages and metaphors. The grim shady underworld where death is hanging like the sword of damocles, and the philanthropic afterlife advice centre owned by Andy Garcia. Sounds grim? To some maybe, but to others there is a message of hope.
Then there is the razor sharp witt. Characters with memorable names (not least of which is The Man With The Plan) and the razor sharp witt. The dialogue alone will have you reminiscing for weeks.
Then comes the unforgettable atmosphere. This is much more dark and moody than perhaps any crime film I have ever seen. The score, locations and cinematography quite comfortably put the icing on the cake.
Lastly, perhaps the first thing most would judge a movie upon, the performances. Andy Garcia delivers a stellar performance as the leading man, portraying a character who is so honest, polite and noble one has difficulty believing that he is even close to this shady underworld. However, Christopher Walken easily steals the show with his paralysed, yet smooth talking Man With The Plan, who simply radiates with sinister witt.
Perhaps the only criticism of Things to do in Denver is the lack of a cinematic trailer, although the production featurette nicely compensates this with a nice package of interviews that places the special features category into one nice digestable feature.
Overall Things to do in Denver is a finely assembled and original piece of film making with many great ingredients, yet it is far more than the sum of its parts. Things to do in Denver stays in your mind because of its razor sharp witt, unforgettable atmosphere, and its surprisingly touching qualities.