A Simple Plan Movie Review


A Simple Plan Movie Review
A big bag of money just sitting there in a deserted plane? No one will miss it, right?

From Joe's Shelf

A Simple Plan

A man, his uneducated brother, and his brother's irresponsible friend, discover four million dollars in a snow covered crashed plane, while chasing a hen stealing fox through the woods of the American Midwest. "A simple plan" is made between them to hold on to the money for awhile until deciding what to do with it. But then things quickly turn from simple to violent, and a person's true nature exposes itself.

This film is a cautionary tale about regular people put under an extreme circumstance. Directed by Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Spider-Man), this film is a mixed bag of good film making and so-so characters. When I first saw it back in 1999, I had nothing but praise for its dark tone and inevitable consequences.

However after seeing it again recently, I've noticed that it doesn't have the same impact as before. The mood is still wonderfully set with the direction of Raimi and Danny Elfman's (Batman 1989) intentionally off-key score. The acting is also believable and steady. It's just that there's something missing with the characters.

I think that the problem is that we don't really get to see these characters in their normal everyday personas. We mostly see them under duress about the money situation and their attempts to out think the future.

Bill Paxton (Frailty) as the main character, shows the lengths that a man will go to to protect what is his. His brother played by Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa), gives another classic performance that deserved the Oscar nomination it received. Brent Briscoe (The Dark Knight Rises) as Thornton's drunken friend, adds a tension to the film that makes it predictable, but also ups the stakes of the situation.

Paxton's wife (Bridget Fonda, Jackie Brown) seems a little too smart for her station when she gives her hubby advice on keeping the money. But karma has a way of upending even the best of plans.

Highs- The entire set up to a taped confession, ends tragically in the style of Raimi's Evil Dead. Me likey.

Lows- Sympathetic characters that I don't really care for, and I've seen better with Fargo.

A Simple Plan is worth a gander, but for me it hasn't held up over time like I thought it would. It's slow with some pay off moments here and there, but I think that the many crime shows that I've seen since, have tainted what used to be a very good movie. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Rating- 6 out of 10

A Simple Plan (1998)
R | 2h 1min | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 22 January 1999 (USA)
When three blue collar acquaintances come across millions of dollars in lost cash they make a plan to keep their find from the authorities but find complications and mistrust weaving its way into their plan.

Director: Sam Raimi
Writers: Scott B. Smith (novel), Scott B. Smith (screenplay)
Stars: Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, Bridget Fonda