Made in 1995 and released on video in 1997, I SHOT A MAN IN VEGAS is a stagey showcase for four actors who labor painfully to take a trite script seriously.
A drunken night for five friends in Las Vegas ends badly when Grant (John Stockwell) shoots and kills Johnny (David Cubit). Grant, his girlfriend Gail (Janeane Garofalo) and their friends Martin (Brian Drillinger) and Amy (Noelle Lippman) load the body in the trunk of Grant's 1956 Oldsmobile and
head for the house of Gail's brother in Los Angeles.
High-strung Martin considers parolee Grant dangerous but is unable to leave because his girlfriend Amy is in shock. As they drive, everyone recounts their memories of the evening. To Martin, who considered Johnny a good friend, the evening seemed fine. Gail recalls that Johnny got involved in a
pointless fight, and noted tension between him and Amy. Amy admits she had been sleeping with Johnny, who hated Martin. Grant finally reveals that Johnny was planning to rob a casino to pay off his gambling debts. Upset that Grant wouldn't help him, he attacked him with a board, at which point
Grant shot him in self-defense. At a rest stop, Martin overpowers Grant and is about to shoot him when the cops arrive.
Even at a mere 80 minutes, I SHOT A MAN IN VEGAS plays like an endless night trapped with a carful of highly unlikeable people who seem determined to beat the cast of GOODFELLAS (1990) in the number of times they can work "the F word" into their conversation. It may be that writer-director Keoni
Waxman is trying to make a point about the immaturity of these characters, though if so, he's trying to have his cake and eat it too, coloring the film as he does with the kind of trendy music and kitschy dialogue used to appeal to Tarantino-sparked young audiences. Neither the film's ultimate
revelation nor the method by which it is uncovered is especially compelling, and the actual conclusion is perplexing: the onus of guilt seems to be shifted to Martin, but however much we may dislike him and sympathize with Grant, Grant is still the one who shot Johnny. (Violence, nudity, sexualsituations, adult situations, substance abuse, extreme profanity.)
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- Released: 1997
- Rating: R
- Review: Made in 1995 and released on video in 1997, I SHOT A MAN IN VEGAS is a stagey showcase for four actors who labor painfully to take a trite script seriously. A drunken night for five friends in Las Vegas ends badly when Grant (John Stockwell) shoots and ki… (more)