Main cast: Robert De Niro (Eddie Flemming), Edward Burns (Jordy Warsaw), Kelsey Grammer (Robert Hawkins), Melina Kanakaredes (Nicolette), Karl Roden (Emil Slovak), and Oleg Taktarov (Oleg Razgul)
Director: John Herzfeld
I always knew Dr Frasier Crane is the evil incarnate. It’s brilliant to cast Kelsey Grammer as a loathsome, self absorbed TV figure who would sacrifice human lives for the sake of ratings. If there is anything more loathsome than that smug, can’t-do-anything-to-me “The media can be a powerful ally!” smile, let me know because I can’t think of any. Hence, in that brilliant casting coup, 15 Minutes succeeds in driving home the repulsive evil that is the media.
But casting two men that fit the obviously dumb-ass braindead “foreign scums” mold of the villains and the ineffective milquetoast Edward Burns as the straight duh partner – now that’s a ten step backwards. Edward Burns plays his role so blandly that he reminds me of Luke Wilson. Luke Wilson is funnier. Edward Burns is antiseptic when it comes to his screen presence.
And Robert De Niro? Like all veteran actors who will forever be typecast as gangsters, he plays a parody of his old roles in his better days.
This story is about the two “forren scums” who kill, rape, and brutalize innocents, taking all their action on tape and sending it to Evil Dr Frasier for some prime time wholesome entertainment. Our two cop, the Sneering Smart One and the Duh by-the-Book Yuppie One, have to stop them.
Well, when they put in the Sneering Smart One speeds off in car before Duh Yuppie One can get on, and Duh Yuppie has to chase after and say “YOU THINK THAT IS FUNNY?!!” scenario, things can’t get any more downhill, methinks.
I am wrong. This movie has a hackneyed, oversimplified premise: media is bad, evil, and the root of all society’s decay. So why the heck is then 15 Minutes showing me all the gratuitous violence the obviously foreign terrorists are committing? “Nobody takes responsibilities for anything in America!” one of the clowns declares happily in the movie, and he’s right.
15 Minutes has gratuitous violence to sate my perverse enjoyment, then smacks me in the hand and tells me, “Movies like this one you shouldn’t be watching, you dumb immoral TV addict!”
How insulting. This one is way too long for this movie, a juvenile, pedestrian if slick rehash of the buddy-wuddy cop routine story masquerading as an “intellek-too-al moo-vee”.