This is a movie based on an Elmore Leonard novel of the same name. It’s a 2008 movie that Gail came across so she DVR’d it, thinking we would like it. Man, she nailed it. Great movie. It’s a solid, gritty crime story. How often do I use that gritty crime term? I did a search and I’ve used it three times before this when talking about fiction. I guess I’m a cliche-ridden fool.
This movie didn’t do much at the box office and from what I can gather, it was only shown in a few test markets then released straight to DVD. That, according to IMDB. Kind of surprising when you consider how prolific and popular Elmore Leonard is. Take a look at all of the stuff he’s been attached to. It’s pretty amazing.
I’ve never read any Elmore Leonard, although he’s always been in the back of my mind as a writer I’d potentially like. In fact, it just so happened that I purchased an Elmore Leonard novel a few weeks ago (Maximum Bob) from a used book store. I’m reading it after this.
Like many of Leonard’s stories, this movie takes place in Michigan. It’s about an estranged husband and wife (Thomas Jane and Diane Lane) who witness a crime by an accomplished killer (Mickey Rourke) and a bumbling crook (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). The husband and wife eventually get on the witness protection program when the FBI get involved, but the killer and crook are dogged in their pursuit. There’s other stuff going, but his is the gist of it.
Despite the all-star cast and the high-powered writer, I’m not surprised that this got killed at the box office. Most people probably don’t have much tolerance for crime novel type of pacing and fluffy character exploration, but that’s what you got here. Which is probably why Sue Grafton novels will never be made into movies. Damn.
But I think Mickey Rourke did a great job as the killer and the Joseph Gordon-Levitt character had a lot of funny moments, like the time he made a Wade Boggs reference related to eating chicken. It was a great example of the warped humor this movie contains. I wonder if Leonard had that reference in the book. I can’t wait to read Maximum Bob now. Gonna start it soon.