Excess Baggage

Some movies start with such potential and then rise even more, blowing away our expectations. Excess Baggage has so much potential. The plot has a catchy proposition, which gives it so much potential. But, never does it rise more below the catchy opening, it even sinks below that.

Alicia Silverstone is a neglected daughter of a rich man. He seems to care more about his dirty business dealings than about his daughter. She is a mischievous girl that has a bad history. To give you an idea of her mischief, she has a news article about herself framed on her dresser. The news article is about her burning down the school library.

In an attempt to both get her father’s attention and test to see if he really does love her, she sets up an elaborate scheme. She makes as if she is kidnapped (herself being the kidnapper), demands money, ties herself up and locks herself into her car trunk. What she didn’t expect was a professional car thief, played by Benicio Del Toro, who, unknowingly, steals her car before the police can get to it. After meeting the two develop a relationship.

The first production out of Alicia Silverstone’s company, First Kiss, this is not a great start. The genre is hard to pin point. It’s not a romantic film because there is hardly any romance or chemistry between Silverstone’s Emily Hope and Del Toro’s Vincent Roche. It’s not a comedy because, well, it’s not funny. It’s not a drama because it can’t be taken seriously. It’s not an action film because of the action in the film, most of it falls flat. You get the idea.

Christopher Walken, who I really don’t admire or prefer to watch, shows again why I don’t. He seems to play the same role over and over again. (I did though love his short role in Pulp Fiction, but next to that, I find it hard to find another film that I enjoyed his work in.)

Del Toro gives a low key performance, and it works. Silverstone gives a strange uneven performance, and for her part it works to an extent. But, all their time on screen together generates nothing; there just is no chemistry between the two.

Excess Baggage is a weak film that I almost walked out on many times during the film. I do respect the film makers enough to ride out the rest of the film to see if there any divine intervention occur during the film that could change it. In the end though, I was disappointed. Excess Baggage is a film to skip on screen and on video.


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