It wasn’t a good movie: He Was a Quiet Man review

“The ship is sinking, the ship is sinking
There’s a leak, there’s a leak in the boiler room
The poor, the lame, the blind
Who are the ones that we kept in charge?
Killers, thieves and lawyers”

God’s Away On Business, Tom Waits
Recently I watched He Was a Quiet Man, written and directed by Frank Cappello. Don’t you know him? Well, I don’t blame you, he hasn’t made a lot of films, but maybe if I tell you that he wrote the Constantine, film… you will still be unable to recognize him.

As in all of my reviews, I’ll tell you how the movie ends. You’ve been warned.
The film tells us the story of Bob Maconel, a dull office worker played by Christian Slater (I know, it’s not a good omen). Bob dreams of blowing up the building in which he works, and he is ready to shoot their co-workers dead. The thing is he doesn’t know whom to shoot with the sixth bullet. And he is NOT throwing the last bullet to the garbage bin!

“CRAP! I forgot to pack my things before!”

So, one day, while he’s thinking whom to shoot, the last bullet slips from his hands, and while he’s picking it he hears gunshots and sees the dead bodies of his co-workers. He gets up and sees Coleman (another co-worker of his) holding a gun. Why doesn’t Coleman shoot Maconel? Well, as Coleman puts it: “the only reason you’re still alive is because you’re even more stupid tan I”. Ha! Put that on your pipe and smoke it, Darwin! Eventually, Coleman seems to think that is better to be dead that being Maconel’s friend, and he decides to shoot himself.  

But not all is happiness in Slaughteroffice!

Coleman thought he had killed a co-worker named Paula. But he didn’t! Instead, she shot Vanessa, whom he “liked. Her smile made the room shine”. To put her out of her miseries, Coleman decides to use his last bullet to blow her to Kingdom Come, but Maconel shoots the sheriff Coleman first.
As it frequently happens, Maconel is considered a local hero because he killed Coleman (I think he could have shot him in the knee. In Tarantino’s movies they say that it’s “a hard place to get fucking shot”), he gets promoted, he is invested Emperor of the United States and Defender of Mexico and he gets pretty much everything he could ever have wished for. His boss, played by William H. Macy, tells him to visit Vanessa, since he saved her life and that stuff. So, Maconel goes to the hospital, when they tell him that Vanessa, played by Elisha Cuthbert, has lost mobility of the entirety of her body, except for her head. She spits him right in his face and tells him that she would rather be dead. Bob runs away, getting wrapped in the curtains in a sketch that would make Pepe Viyuela proud.

Back in the office, Bob writes “SHOULD I FINISH WHAT COLEMAN STARTED?”. His boss arrives and asks him to make some copies of her wife’s book. And guess what? Bob’s paper gets copied too! Wow, I bet you didn’t see that coming. Oh, who I’m trying to cheat? Everybody saw it coming. Oh, screw it. Will everybody find out that Bob is out of his mind? When? Will Bob’s fishes sing the entire West Side Story songbook? By the way, did I mention that Bob’s fishes tell him to kill everybody? Because they do.

“Kill those motherfuckers, Bob! And feed us, Stripes is starving!”. True story.

Days later (I guess is about time for the copy guy to do Bob’s copies), Vanessa tells Bob to visit her one more time because she wants to ask him for something. Does she want Bob to sing her a Tom Waits song? No! She wants him to help her commit suicide, by taking her to a train station and letting her go to be hit by the train. “Well, that should be fun”, says Bob, and they have dinner together in a posh restaurant and go to a karaoke (there had to be a karaoke)

” No Camilo Sesto songs? You’re lucky I haven’t brought my revolver…”

At the station, Bob gets cold feet and stops Vanessa’s wheelchair before it falls to the railroads. Vanessa gets the red mist and curses Bob’s name tells Bob how disappointed she is. Bob realizes that Vanessa is moving her pinkie. At the hospital, a doctor tells them that there is still hope, and Bob and Vanessa start dating. Their relationship is showed to us in a scene so corny that it hurts. It’s like watching a Jonas Brothers’ video. Awful, awful. Oh, and then Vanessa tells Bob that, although she can’t move her body, she can still give him a blowjob pleasure him orally. Bob refuses at first, but then he offers no resistance. Bob knows best.

Days go by, weeks go by, and when years made an attempt to go by, somebody discovers the
“SHOULD I FINISH WHAT COLEMAN STARTED?” copies. The office shrink tells Bob to find out who the killer to be is. Bob tries to use the janitor as a scapegoat, but the shrink tells Bob that he knows that the psycho is Bob (and might I ask, then why on Earth didn’t the shrink warned Bob’s boss at first?).

“Me, a killer? You’re lucky that I haven’t brought my revolver…”

Moreover, Bob’s boss tells Bob that Vanessa doesn’t actually love him and that she is with him just because she needs him to feed her (and other less glamourous tasks). Bob, angry as Hell, goes home and asks Vanessa if she loves him. Vanessa tells him that she “doesn’t speak that language”, but she can “learn”. Bob leaves, angry as h— huh… twice as angry as Hell and starts talking to himself. Which is nice, because that means that he has stopped talking to his fishes.
Next day, Bob goes to the office, and finds the bullet that he dropped. Wait a moment, the bullet has been there for MONTHS? They really should fire the cleaning lady! Oh, no, wait, wait. The bullet is still there because the whole movie since Bob dropped the bullet was a hallucination. Damn you, Frank Cappello! DAMN YOU!

“It was a hallucination? Frank, you’re lucky that I haven’t brought my revolver… Wait, I have! It’s inside my suitcase!”

Bob sees Paula/Vanessa, and, instead shooting her, he shoots himself because, as he has been saying during the entire movie, “the weak must be sacrificed in order to save the herd”. At the end, Bob’s neighbors get interviewed, and they say “he seemed to be a good person” and “he was a quiet man”.

He really was a quiet man. Unless he brought his revolver.

So, it ended up being a hallucination. That’s a shame, it could have been a good drama film (or a good black comedy). I think that if the Coen brothers would have made this, it would have been great. But…
Pros: The beginning, which makes you think you’re going to see an excellent movie. The idea is good, and if you don’t expect much, you could end up liking this movie.
The middle part of the film. The corny video scene which keeps going for almost ten minutes. The “it was just a hallucination” thing.


4 Responses to “It wasn’t a good movie: He Was a Quiet Man review”

  1. 1 Tido January 16, 2010 at 14:24

    Yay! I was starting to think that you abandoned this blog.

    I think I’ll see the film, just for curiosity, or maybe in order to see fish talking.

  2. 2 Wolfen January 4, 2011 at 08:09

    This movie was actually good. People who rate this movie bad needs to watch more Films and maybe have a better view.

  1. 1 Jungle is closed: A farewell from Javi & Mr. Paws « The Apes of Wrath Trackback on January 16, 2010 at 14:25
  2. 2 Crónica de una muerte anunciada: The Apes of Wrath « Reflexiones de un tipo con boina Trackback on January 16, 2010 at 14:49

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