2 Days, 1 Murder, and 10 people. How does this all tie together? A skier, a hitman, a tramp named Helga, two vice detectives, a suicidal movie director, a nurse, an art dealer with a stone, and others. 2 Days in the Valley is a movie that takes these lives and threads them together into one cohesive and highly entertaining film.
The problem with bringing this many characters and individual stories to a movie is the fact that some audience members will get lost after the first few are introduced. Writer/Director John Herzfeld does a good job of inter-cutting between the stories and making everyone known. Some of the stories are not tied up well, like the story of Jeff Daniel’s dejected cop, but most of them do end up well. Also, there are some nagging points that are brought up and never really cleared up the biggest being the Korean thing, which confused me.
The one thing that 2 Days in the Valley reminded me of was a Tarantino film because its structure is so complex, the events that happen so different, that it feels like watching Pulp Fiction on drugs. 2 Days in the Valley is more interested in the characters than it is in the crimes that bring the characters together. We see little pieces of each character, some of these events are out of the blue, some are explained, but all are part of the puzzle that is put together at the end of the movie.
To try to explain the story and what happens is going to spoil the film. The movie does evolve around a murder. Around this murder events start to happen and they all tie together. The characters include a washed out hitman named Dosmo (Danny Aiello); the ex-wife of the murder man, Becky (Teri Hatcher) who is obsessed with winning gold in the skiing events at the Olympics; a scheming couple, the maniacal Lee (James Spader) and the sex-kitten Helga (Charlize Theron in her debut film); a suicidal movie director who hangs his toilet paper on a long won Emmy, Teddy (Paul Mazursky); a nurse that in a cemetery, Audrey (Marsha Mason); two cops, one who is gung-ho for his job (Eric Stoltz) and one who is not (Jeff Daniels); an arrogant art dealer who has kidney stones (Greg Cruttwell) and his hapless assistant (Gleane Headly); and a few others. If you had a hard time keeping track of the people here in the review, don’t worry, it’s all clear in the movie.
Kudos to writer/director John Herzfeld for putting together such an entertaining movie. It has its small flaws, but those are easily overlooked. I would like to find out just how Herzfeld put this story together. If he started from the end and then plotted towards the beginning or if it just all happened to fall together one day as he was looking out the window. The story and characters are magnificent. Don’t Miss 2 Days in the Valley.