Yet another attempt to emulate the nihilistic hipness and showy cinematography of PULP FICTION (1995), MONTANA lacks both idiosyncratic dialogue and an individualistic directorial world-view.
Leader of a criminal empire, the Boss (Robbie Coltrane) assigns his most trusted foot-soldiers, Claire (Kyra Sedgwick) and Nick (Stanley Tucci), to locate a bag man, Koo (Keenan Shimizu), who has stolen money under the orders of the Boss's scheming accountant, Duncan (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), and
the Boss's partner, Dr. Wexler (John Ritter); the latter duo are planning a takeover.
Koo is captured by Claire and Nick and brought to the boss's headquarters, but the money is not recovered. The Boss's mistress, Kitty (Robin Tunney), has been so alienated by the Boss that she slips Koo a gun in order to have him kill the Boss. Although he has been diagnosed with a terminal
illness, quick-thinking Nick has the strength to foil this impromptu hit. After Nick kills Koo, Kitty runs away. Demoting paid killers Nick and Claire to the status of mere kidnappers as punishment for the Koo slip-up, the Boss orders them to give his dim-witted son Jimmy (Ethan Embry) on-the-job
training while tracking down Kitty.
Subsequently, Kitty is captured by the trio. When Jimmy tries to sexually assault Kitty when they're left alone at one point, Kitty kills him with his own gun. Seizing the opportunity to allay the Boss's suspicion of him, Duncan suggests Claire deliberately killed Jimmy. The Boss orders Claire's
execution, but she gets the drop on Duncan and his henchman. Refusing devious Wexler's offer of support, Claire is reunited with Nick, who had gone off on his own to search for the missing money. The Boss sends his assassin to kill Claire and Nick. After giving Claire the money he has located
(thanks to Koo's widow), Nick dies in the ongoing melee. Returning to the Boss's headquarters, Claire fatally shoots the Boss, then sets Kitty free and drives off to Montana.
Stumbling over its own deadpan attitude, MONTANA handles its gangster plot mechanics skillfully without being involving or amusing. Riddled with bullets and borrowed seduction-of-power concepts, this film is a far cry from the droll humor of PRIZZI'S HONOR (1985), a more stylish black comedy about
dishonor among thieves. Screeching their uninteresting lines, the cast tries to inflate flat ideas with energy but winds up defeated by cliched notions, like the whore with a heart of gold and the vocational killer capable of last-minute self-sacrifice. MONTANA boasts some attention-getting
camerawork, but it never delivers either the suspense or the cynical kicks for which the audience has been primed. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity, substance abuse, adult situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1998
- Rating: R
- Review: Yet another attempt to emulate the nihilistic hipness and showy cinematography of PULP FICTION (1995), MONTANA lacks both idiosyncratic dialogue and an individualistic directorial world-view. Leader of a criminal empire, the Boss (Robbie Coltrane) assigns… (more)