Back to Back (1996) Review

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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 behave themselves. Heck Leland Orser practically gives a one-man show as a 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. The good news is if you are bored wait five minutes and it is practically a different movie. (A father-daughter comedy, now it is a kung-fu actioner, now it is a one-man drama, now it’s now a stoner film… make up your mind movie.)

The film also commits some cinematic sins. First, 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 the 1950’s Arizona not 1990s L.A… If I wanted to see a bad Nicolas Cage film I would have rented one (There are plenty to choose from.)

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

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