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  • 1997
  • Movie
  • R
  • Thriller

Psycho killer, qu'est que c'est? Formerly titled Going West in America, this ambitious thriller about an obsessed FBI agent and a clever serial killer does its best to avoid the cliches of the genre. It stocks up on character business over sordid stalk-and-slash tableaux, which would be more satisfying if the characters were a bit less broadly drawn. There's...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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Psycho killer, qu'est que c'est? Formerly titled Going West in America, this ambitious thriller about an obsessed FBI agent and a clever serial killer does its best to avoid the cliches of the genre. It stocks up on character

business over sordid stalk-and-slash tableaux, which would be more satisfying if the characters were a bit less broadly drawn. There's a killer on the road, a slasher whose personal grudge against FBI agent Frank LaCrosse (Dennis Quaid) led him to kidnap LaCrosse's small son and then kill himself

in a fleabag motel. Or so it appears: LaCrosse believes the psychopath is still alive and using the child as bait in a lethal game of cat and mouse. Small-town Texas sheriff Buck Olmstead (R. Lee Ermey), who's running for reelection against politically savvy sharpie Jack McGinnis (William

Fichtner), finds himself with a nasty double homicide on his hands. And medical school dropout Lane Dixon (Jared Leto) has hitched a cross-country ride with Bob Goodall (Danny Glover), a genial jack-of-all-trades, in a distinctive '77 Eldorado upholstered with naked pinups. For a movie full of

snaky twists and turns, the point at which the three stories intersect is pretty obvious, unless you want to argue that it's actually clever because it's so obvious that the average viewer will figure the killer must be someone else. And while Quaid's conception of LaCrosse as a near-zombie

running on guilt and grief is undeniably daring, it's not terrifically interesting to watch. The supporting cast is much livelier, with Ermey hamming it up as good old boy Buck, Ted Levine bringing his trademark sullenness to bear on the role of Olmstead's deputy and Glover having a fine old time

as the homespun Bob, who appears to have studied the art of conversation at the knee of Jim Thompson's Sheriff Lou Ford.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Psycho killer, qu'est que c'est? Formerly titled Going West in America, this ambitious thriller about an obsessed FBI agent and a clever serial killer does its best to avoid the cliches of the genre. It stocks up on character business over sordid stalk-an… (more)

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