First of all, I really wanted to like this movie. And I tried to. Honestly, I did. Normally, I’m a big fan of John Cusack. But this should have been called “Pushing Stool”; by the time this wretched muck that called itself a movie mercifully ended, the viewer felt like they’d taken one right up near where their wallet used to be and thought, “Damn, I feel bow-legged, my chute aches, my back is sticky I didn’t even get the courtesy of a reach-around”. Man, this is bad…
Cusack plays Nick Falzone, a hot shot air-traffic controller who considers himself the best in the biz. (Are there REALLY people like this out there? Am I that sheltered?) Then the “new guy” showed up. Russell Bell (played by Billy Bob “wife-beating prick” Thornton) arrives on the scene, and he’s just as good (if not better) than Falzone. So, they basically have a pissing contest throughout the whole thing to prove who’s more of a man. Nick even goes as far as to slip the old gigglestick to Russell’s wife, a white trash alcoholic played by Angelina Jolie. (Typecasting, maybe?) Cusack and Thornton try to out-do each other, and each one hates the other one, blah blah blah, until one day Thornton quits and disappears. Then Cusack flips out, discovers that he’s lost his touch, decides he misses his old buddy (and probably missed bonking his heroine-chic wife), and went looking for him. When he finally finds his former antagonist, they look at one another longingly, and you almost expect one of them to say some cheese-filled line such as “You had me (sniff) at ‘Hello’…” At this point, the two have to have one more “my ball bag is more full than your ball bag” competition in which they stand on the runway while a 747 is landing and get tossed into the air like a hot dog wrapper on the track at the Indy 500. Then comes the laughter, the hugs, the credits, and the confused look on my face. “What the…? What just happened? Did I black out? Why are the credits rolling, when clearly nothing has happened yet?”
The concept of this movie just struck me odd to begin with. Air-traffic controllers? Why? It would have been interesting had they been brain surgeons or Wall Street suits or something. But air-traffic controllers, for God’s sake? And if you’re that obsessed with out-doing your co-workers, you really need to get a hobby. Have you considered occupying your mind with useful obsessions, such as stalking movie stars, and gunning them down for making bad movies? (Just kidding. Do NOT do this. I have enough problems without having to be blamed for one of my readers offing some b-flick hack actor.) Life is too short to obsess over work. Then again, it’s too short to waste 2 hours on this wacked-out horrific excuse of a movie.
John Cusack, you let me down. But I’m willing to forgive you based on your prior works. Here are some movies that John did that I love:
The Sure Thing
Gross Pointe Blank