June 12th, 2009

PRIZZI’S HONOR (1985) **

Jack Nicholson stars as a none-too-bright hitman with an overbite who falls in love with a mysterious blonde (Kathleen Turner) he meets at a wedding.  They have a whirlwind courtship (they fuck on the first date) and he quickly proposes to her.  As it turns out, she’s also a hitwoman (isn’t it nice to find a woman that has something in common?) and after she rips off The Family, Jack is given orders to whack her.

 

Prizzi’s Honor is kind of a weird movie.  It has all the elements you’d want from a quality flick; namely good performances (especially Jack), a handful of decent plot twists, and a couple of cool death scenes (there’s a tight knife-through-the-throat scene near the end).  What’s weird about the whole thing though is that it never completely gels.  Director John (The Maltese Falcon) Huston films the proceedings in a flat made-for-TV manner and fails to give the flick the “oomph” it needs to kick into high gear.  And although the plot is suitably twisty, it takes over an hour or so to really start twisting.

 

Jack is great in this (isn’t he always though?) and Turner is top notch too.  The problem is that they don’t really have a lot of chemistry in their scenes together.  Jack carries the flick whenever he’s flying solo yet whenever he’s on screen with Turner there are zero sparks.  Prizzi’s Honor isn’t necessarily a terrible flick.  It’s competent and classy picture, just not particularly involving or memorable one.