Back to Back Review

I would like a Tsukimi Burger with a side of Elvis.

Back to Back (1996): 5 out of 10: Is it a comedy? Is it a drama? Is it a sequel? (American Yakuza 2?) Is it a rip-off of Pulp Fiction? Why it’s all these things and more.

Too silly to be a crime drama and to serious to be a comedy; Back to Back is all over the map. What can you say about a film with the always super cool legend Ryo Ishibashi kicking and shooting it old school and an exploding Bobcat Goldthwait in the same movie?… heck this movie has them in the same scene.

Yes watching Bobcat go all Islamic Jihad is worth a rental at least. And the cast such as Fred Willard, Tim Thomerson, and Stephen Furst actually behave themselves. Heck Leland Orser practically gives a one-man show as wheelchair guy. (Seriously he could have had an Off-Broadway monologue with that character.) The blood squibs and bullets get a good workout and the movie has some pretty decent action scenes.

So why not more love? Well, the script is disjointed, to say the least. The good news is if you are bored wait five minutes and it is practically a different movie. (A father-daughter comedy, no a kung-fu actioner, no a one-man drama, no it’s now a stoner film… make up your mind.)

The film also commits some cinematic sins. First of all, if you purposely hide the identity of Mr. Big till the end he better be a character we have already met or a Frank Sinatra cameo. Second, if you already have an R rating why are the dancers in the strip joint fully clothed. And last, there is nothing cheaper than the ethnic character that idolizes Elvis. I hate that crap. Especially when the soundtrack is filled with twanging like we were in 1950’s Arizona not 1990’s L.A… If I wanted to see a bad Nicholas Cage film I would have rented one (There are plenty to choose from after all.)

Bottom line defiantly worth a look and it is entertaining but certainly not something I would go out of my way to see. Well except for the Bobcat explosion.

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