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The Alarmist Review

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When Tommy, an alarm salesman, finds his client and girlfriend murdered in what appears to be a bungled robbery, he immediately points the eye of suspicion to his dodgy colleague.

★★★★★

A belated release for this adaptation of a stage play which, despite a quite unique sensibility and strong cast, has languished on a shelf for the past couple of years.

Tommy Hudler (Arquette) is the new guy at the office of Heinrich Grigoris (Tucci), an alarm system salesman with a penchant for nicking gear from the homes of the people who buy his wares. Tommy begins a relationship with one of his clients (Capshaw), and when she is subsequently bumped off in what appears to be a bungled raid on her house, he immediately suspects the otherwise affable Heinrich.

Most stage adaptations never quite escape their theatrical origins and that is the case here. It has a distinct two-act structure, the first concentrating on Tommy climbing the career ladder and the second offering slapstick revenge farce.

The former is definitely the more interesting, with the always-great Tucci in cracking form and Capshaw as a thinly-sketched but sexy love interest. Arquette does his usual twitchy shtick, but always manages to stay the right side of endearing. However, the best scenes fall to Reynolds as Capshaw's simpleton son - after witnessing his mother receiving oral stimulation from Tommy, he regales him with his own sex anecdote that is as funny as it is cringemaking.

It's a quirky tale, but the strange vein of humour and good performances pull it through. The denouement doesn't really work but the final message - essentially, crime is unpredictable - is a suitably offbeat end to an offbeat movie.

It's a quirky tale, but the strange vein of humour and good performances pull it through.