Crime dramas were huge in the 90s after the success of 'Pulp Fiction'. Quality ranged from stellar to downright awful, but studios kept churning out films that fit the genre probably due to the lack of budget required to make such pictures. The public ate them up for the most part as they were all too excited about viewing the next big film and some of the movies didn't disappoint.
'A Simple Plan' is an example of one of those small films that came out during the end of that era. Bill Paxton plays Hank, an educated man with good values who, with his simpleton brother and the town drunk, stumble upon 4 million in cash in a snow covered plane wreck. Hank argues with his brother and friend that they shouldn't keep the money making the argument that this is thievery. He finds himself losing the debate and curtails his morals for the lure of being a millionaire, something that seems out of reach in his small existence.
The three of them agree to hide the money and wait till spring. After the investigation is over they'll split the money and live the good life. Of course tensions mount as parties get greedy and Hank's wife acts with a cunning not usually associated with women in crime films. Lies are told, murders are committed, and Hank's once firm stance of leaving the money alone falls by the wayside as his values change for the worse.
This is hardly an unfamiliar story, but it's a compelling one mostly due to the acting of Billy Bob Thorton. The rest of the cast is reliable, the music is dark and well done, and the dialogue is spot on. While there are a few editing flaws and some leaps of logic are made I would recommend this film for anyone nostalgic for the time when crime ruled the silver screen.
Thanks to SareBeth for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.
"A pre-Spiderman Sam Raimi delivers a stunningly powerful film about the consequences of greed." - Bill Clark