The Impostors

impostors1998

It is always really hard for me to say something unique after watching a film that I only thought was okay. Take the Impostors for instance. This film about a duo who through a series of comical events end up on a ship trying to hide out from the cops while also trying to foil bad people’s plans to kill. Set in the twenties, the film does a good job invoking comic duos like Laurel and Hardy, but the plot is flimsy to the point of boredom. What am I to say that is new and unique about a film most people won’t ever watch? Well I guess I will try.

Stanley Tucci is a famous actor, but he was also a director in the mid to late nineties. Before making this film, he made a touching film about an unsuccessful Italian restaurant trying to save grace by having one last big night. It said so much about brothers, the joy of cooking, and trying so hard at a passion only to fail at it. (Like I am doing here…) That film made my top ten of that year and I could watch it again and again. This film was everything that Big Night wasn’t. The Impostors didn’t touch my heart in any way, it didn’t reveal any undeniable truths and it certainly did not showcase some amazing food. It seemed here that he just gathered a bunch of his acting friends, asked them what characters they wanted to play, and cast them as those characters. While everybody is good in their roles, nobody seemed absolutely essential to the light story. In fact I think he focused too much on the extraneous characters instead of the main villains. In fact if he had just stuck to one villain, the film would have improved dramatically. Instead I counted four villains, depending on the time of the story. Each one had their own motivations, dreams, and character quirks that were not fleshed out to any satisfaction.

I wish that this was a short film. I say this because I felt the first scene in the film was the best scene in the whole film. Set in an outdoor cafe, the two friends play off one another much like the silent comedians did. They mock one another, fight over giving up their seat for a woman, and finally fight to a fake death. It was the perfect ode to who they are trying to honor with the whole film. There didn’t need to be anything else. In fact if you have a few minutes of free time and a Netflix account (who doesn’t these days) I would suggest looking up this film and watching the first ten or so minutes of it then immediately shut it off. You will then not have to waste the next hour and half trying to see if they capture that same magic again.

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