The Usual Suspects

usualsuspects

Bryan Singer, USA, 1995, 106 min.

The story involves a group of criminals brought in for questioning regarding the robbery of a truck full of weapons. The cops can’t pin it on any of them, but this fortuitous meeting brings about a string of prosperous jobs for the group.

On their way up they seem to have warranted the attention of an almost mythical crime lord who makes them do a dangerous job for a potentially grand pay-out. We see in the opening scene that this does not go very well.

Most of the film is told by the last surviving member of the group, a low-life cripple con-man played by Kevin Spacey. The story of what happens to everyone else he tells to the cops, who think they have figured out the case.

This film is like a magic trick. It is designed to deceive. What we think is happening, may not be the truth. When the end of the film comes along, we find out what really has been going on and realize that we have been fooled.

99% of the film is flim-flam. Sleight of hand. And like the lead-up to the magic trick, it is purely there to make the audience think of something else so the ending will come as a surprise, and when it is over, is instantly forgotten.

The film is a below-the-belt cheap trick. Without any real substance or style, the whole thing just doesn’t feel worthwhile. If you take away the twist ending, is there anything left? Not really.

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