If you’ve ever watched “House of Cards” then you know that Kevin Spacey is just the man. It doesn’t matter how unrealistic the show can be, his portrayal of a corrupt, power-driven politician is a sight to behold. So it was about time that I dug a little deeper into the movies Spacey is known for, starting with “The Usual Suspects.” And considering Bryan Singer, who does the X-men movies, is the director, I knew this would be a film I would enjoy.
The movie is told in a sort of flashback style where, in the beginning, you see the end of this string of events before the whole story is told to you by Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), an anxious cripple who is being interrogated. We see a group of thieves brought together in a police lineup who then team up for a job. After a successful one to start, the group continues down a dangerous path with some people getting killed.
This all culminates in a job the men are forced to do by the enigmatic Keyser Söze. This villain verges on the fabled side as no one really knows what he looks like (his assistant gives the orders) nor discerns if the stories are true. But after some tales by Verbal, we get the idea that everyone is pretty afraid of him. After one of the group is killed, they follow through on the antagonist’s plans and get caught up in a blood bath with only 2 survivors, one of which is Verbal.
Now I can’t give away the ending because I think that’s what makes “The Usual Suspects” so memorable but I will say it didn’t completely catch me off guard. While you know a twist is coming, it didn’t shock me as much as you might think. However that doesn’t mean it was not well done. In fact it was the perfect way to end the movie but I’ve been more shocked by other cinematic surprises (like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and “Gone Girl”).
The cast is very strong overall with some standouts including Benicio Del Toro who I can’t tell if he was just young when he did this film or just perfectly acted out a confused, fast-talking criminal. Gabriel Bryne is also good as Dean Keaton who is basically the leader of the group after his many years of experience. The way his criminal nature along with sense of morality clash is one of the best parts of the film.
However, as you would expect, Kevin Spacey is phenomenal as Verbal. The way he limps around the place, his naivety as well as emotional nervousness all combine to create the perfect patsy. This Oscar-winning performance helps complete “The Usual Suspects” and makes it a movie all should watch.
Look the ending may not have totally stunned me but it’s still a great twist and also a perfect way to end the film. You are constantly contemplating throughout the movie as you as the view try to piece together what is going on. Along with great performances, Bryan Singer’s classic is the perfect mystery to watch on a weekend night. Who knows, maybe Keyser Söze is right around the corner…