Illtown | Chicago Reader

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Adam Trese gets out of prison and sets out to sabotage the drug-dealing business of Michael Rapaport, Lili Taylor, and Kevin Corrigan in an ultraslow and stylistically self-important story that uses dream and drug-dream sequences to try to put us inside characters who are mostly uninspired amalgams of movie cliches. As the big boss of a seamy—and slick—Florida underworld, Tony Danza plays a caricature with a green thumb. “Most people don't like to make their own mulch—I find it relaxing,” he observes, as if his hobby conveyed just the right note of ironic chill; a striking lack of violence in the first part of the movie is obviously going to be remedied by the end. The distinction between drug dealers with lots of compassion (Rapaport and Taylor, who are trying to have a baby and care for Taylor's runaway brother) and mere killing machines (some of the adolescent underlings Trese employs against Rapaport) is simplistic rather than instructive or surprising. And the movie can't keep its silly symbolism in line with its dark tone: an overextended metaphor involving Rapaport and Corrigan's devotion to golf and each other offers a close-up of a successful putt after Rapaport confides that he intends to become a father. Written and directed by Nick Gomez (Laws of Gravity); with Isaac Hayes.

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