Bobby Z

[Amazon Link] [2.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

This movie is based on the book The Death and Life of Bobby Z by Don Winslow; that's actually its "official" title at the IMDB. It has well-known actors Paul Walker and Laurence Fishburne. If I'm reading the IMDB correctly, it was only released in movie theatres in Germany back in May, and was dumped off to DVD release shortly after.

I liked the book quite a bit, but I'm long used to seeing moviemakers turn good books into lousy movies. My prime example: Carl Hiaasen's Strip Tease turned into Demi Moore's Striptease . Aieee, it still hurts to think about it. This isn't quite that bad.

Anyway: Walker plays Tim Kearney, genial borderline crook, in jail after a series of bad breaks. But he looks much like famous and rich drug dealer Bobby Zacharias; Fishburne plays a cop who recruits Kearney to impersonate Bobby Z in a prisoner swap, with a get-out-of-jail-free card as bait. Kearney has apparently seen no movies like this before, otherwise he'd know this is a total setup. Before you know it, he's on the run from numerous people who'd like to kill him.

Things move along OK, but the movie doesn't quite know how it serious it wants to play things, and the ending feels contrived and tacked-on.

The movie also contains Joaquim de Almeida as a drug kingpin; he seems to be Hollywood's go-to guy for drug kingpin casting. I've seen him in numerous movies and a couple TV shows—all as a typically smooth and murderous bad guy, a role he can do in his sleep. C'mon, movie guys: put him in just one movie as the hero. As long as it's not a remake of Striptease.

Last Modified 2012-10-17 3:04 PM EDT