De Niro channeling look alike character to Martin Scorsese ? Was this a tongue in cheek send up at times ? Where did they find Crispin Glover ? I thought he had exited the planet long ago. The police scene with the baton in the police station made me feel uncomfortable. Very noir for a technicolor film, I was expecting Ms Rossellini to appear at any minute to add to the plot. It was an interesting film.
Jack (John Cusack) is instructed by Dragna (Robert De Niro) to pick up a bag and take it to a specific motel and to check into room 13. He is instructed not to look into the bag. Things go bad. We reach a point where he is in the room. He has a dead man in the trunk of his car which doesn't lock. His hand is bleeding where his cell phone was shot out from it. There are two undercover agents next door. He gets entangled with a six foot tall prostitute (Rebecca Da Costa) her one eyed pimp (Sticky Fingaz) and a Serbian midget (Martin Klebba). Cops seem to be everywhere and the motel is run by the creepy Crispin Glover who learned everything he knows about motel management from Norman Bates.
His boss calls him and tells him to read Hermann Hesse "Magister Ludi" which loosely relates to the mystery of the circus characters. Then things get weird.
This is a noir style mystery. There are two mysteries here. One is "What is with all the odd ball characters?" and the second one is "What is in the bag?" I will say I had them both figured out before they were revealed as it fit an oddball formula. However, I grew annoyed with the film, able to feel the frustration of Jack, but not in a good way.
The film has few characters. It has dark humorous elements added to this crime drama thriller. Indeed, the plot alone is darkly comical. The film has a lot of things going for it, and as a fan of the genre, it was able to grab me, but it kept letting me go.
3 1/2 stars. Good rental for those who like a quirky noir mystery.
Parental Guide: F-bomb. Sex talk. No sex or nudity.