Knockaround Guys | Chicago Reader

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This mob drama by writer-directors Brian Koppelman and David Levien was released in Europe in 2001 but didn't show up in American theaters until a year later, when it was yanked from the vault to capitalize on the sudden popularity of costar Vin Diesel. The listless screenplay is a post-Sopranos tale of Mafia kids in limbo: a 27-year-old college grad (Barry Pepper) is locked out of sports management because his father (Dennis Hopper) is a notorious Brooklyn gangster, yet the father and his crew doubt the kid is cut out for a life of crime. Finally given an assignment to pick up a bag of cash on the west coast, the college boy sends in his place a feckless friend (Seth Green) who promptly loses the money at a small Montana airport, and then flies out with two other pals (Diesel and Andrew Davoli) to help track down the loot before their elders find out. John Malkovich is severely miscast as a heartless and conniving thug admired by the hero (apparently Charles Grodin was busy), and Hopper, in a paper-thin role, barely registers. Diesel fans should be advised that his screen time is limited, though he does spend much of it beating the crap out of people. 92 min.

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