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Double Whammy Reviews

Even when he's not at full steam, filmmaker Tom Di Cillo has never cranked out a movie that wasn't personal or pleasurable, and this screwy action comedy is no exception. Detective Ray Pluto (Denis Leary) should have tended to his bad back. During a spree killing at Burger Bun, he crumples over in pain and drops his piece. A grade school child picks up Ray's gun and shoots the killer, becomes a national hero. The disgraced Ray, who already blames himself for the deaths of his wife and daughter in a car accident, seeks medical treatment from beautiful chiropractor Ann Beamer (Elizabeth Hurley). Ray stifles his romantic feelings for Ann, adding another item to his list of woes, which includes diminished self-esteem, lower back agony, guilt and annoyance at living in a rundown apartment building populated by eccentrics. His super, Juan Benitez (Luis Guzman), doesn't realize that his rebellious daughter, Mirabel (Melonie Diaz), has hired two hit men to kill him because he won't let her get a tattoo. Down the hall, two struggling screenwriters try to recapture the magic of RESERVOIR DOGS. Redemption appears to make a stop at Ray's front doorstep: When Mirabel's doped-up assassins merely wound Juan, Ray risks his badge to protect Mirabel, who's had a change of heart. But Ray's rival, Detective Dimitri (Chris Noth), vows to investigate the case thoroughly and the fumbling killers have mistaken the Tarantino-wannabes for witnesses to their attempted murder. As the writers persuade Ray to help them try out a scene that involves tying him to a chairwith Ray, the executioners burst into the apartment! Will Ray's luck finally change as he attempts heroism with his hands tied behind his back? DiCillo, a magician with actors, coaxes charming performances out of sourpuss Leary and ice maiden Hurley. Though the narrative thumps along like sneakers in a dryer, this offbeat crime comedy is a fine example of a film in which humor doesn't come at the expense of the characters.