Two Days In The Valley Review

Two Days In The Valley

by William Thomas |
Published on
Release Date:

18 Oct 1996

Running Time:

100 minutes



Original Title:

Two Days In The Valley

Having presumably taken a look at Robert Altman's Short Cuts and the collected works of Jim Jarmusch, director John Herzfeld has his own stab at whimsical weirdness with this episodic crime caper set among the laid-back folk of suburban L.A., but unfortunately, falls just a little shorter than his peers.

Dosmo Pizzo (Aiello) is a second-rate hitman hired by stylish psycho Lee Woods (James Spader cast against type), a nutter with an obsession with time (he gives all his victims one final minute before he kills them in order to illustrate the value of said terminal time-slice) to kill Roy (Peter Horton) as part of a convoluted insurance scam.

While he gleefully terrorises plotting ex-wife Becky (TV's Lois Lane herself Teri Hatcher), across town ex-screenwriter Teddy (Paul Mazursky) fails to commit suicide, decides to walk the dog and winds up in the apartment of cash-loaded art-dealer (Greg Crutwell) and his brow-beaten assistant Susan Parish (Glenne Headly). There they're all joined by Pizzo who is in turn on the run from Eric Stoltz's sensitive vice-cop troubled by the meaninglessness of persecuting the sex-workers in The City Of Angels' massage parlours and anxious for a promotion to the glamour of homicide.

And so it goes on. And on, delivering the odd mildly diverting scene but no discernable point. The aim, presumably was to chart the intertwining of ordinary and extraordinary lives in sun-bleached Northern California. Unfortunately shallow characterisation, a script so laid-back you can almost hear it snoring and the occasional outburst of hokey dialogue lead to a movie a good deal less charming than it thinks it is.

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