Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995)
From the smug title to the predictable ending, director Gary Fleder takes us on a style-over-substance tour through Denver. Given the subject matter – a bunch of ex-gangsters botching up their final job for a local crime boss before finding themselves on his kill-list – this tour should have been an intense adrenaline-kick, but we're feeling more in tune with the Andy Garcia character, who seems to think "We're gonna die, what's the big deal". The script is by Scott Rosenberg, a man who has penned both great gems (Beautiful Girls) and great embarrassments (Armageddon). Here he seems to desperately want to emulate the success of Quentin Tarantino in recent years, with confident, clever dialogue between dangerous, unpredictable characters. Unfortunately, Rosenberg lacks the crispness and urgency of Tarantino's scripts, and the all-star cast can't find a way to up the ante. Except for an inspired Treat Williams, they walk through this in technical mode. And the result is a film which looks good and feels like it could be both clever and engaging, but which ultimately is neither.