A Simple Plan (1998)

(In theaters, February 1999) This succeeds where Very Bad Things crashed miserably; telling a tale of increasing grimness with the appropriate tone. Three men find four million dollars in the woods; for this price, what wouldn’t they do to keep the secret? Whereas Very Bad Things tried to fashion a hip comedy out of a gruesome series of murders, A Simple Plan plays it more maturely. (Ironically, A Simple Plan‘s director is Sam –Army Of Darkness– Raimi, never before known for his restraint) The result is nothing short of a very good film, emotionally gripping yet non-manipulative and superbly concluded. Great acting across the board. Perhaps a bit suspicious around the edges (what about Hank’s wife’s abrupt attitude reversal or the unlikely hypothesis that just happens to be right?) and longuish at times, A Simple Plan is easily one of the best films of 1998 for those with the will to stomach a dark tale about human greed. At least it won’t try to make you laugh.

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