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Movie Review: “The Bag Man”

John Cusack in "The Bag Man"
John Cusack in "The Bag Man"
John Cusack in "The Bag Man"

7/ 14

User Rating
7 total ratings


Posted February 27, 2014 by

John Cusack plays Jack, a criminal who agrees to pick up a mystery bag for Dragna, played by Robert De Niro in “The Bag Man.” The movie starts with the conversation between the two characters so we don’t quite know the relationship between them other than that Dragna is willing to pay Jack a lot of money if he can pull off this job for him. The movie then turns into a thriller that tries to keep the audience guessing the entire way. Crispin Glover has a supporting role as the wheel-chair bound owner of the motel that Jack stays at during most of the story. Rebecca Da Costa also joins the cast as a prostitute outside the motel, named Rivka, who gets pulled into the action by Jack when he learns that people are out to get him and the bag.

The cast is impressive considering the bland, thriller 101 plot. Robert De Niro does a fine job as the rich, bad guy with gray hair. John Cusack is the focus of the film and unfortunately, is forgettable. I think someone else could’ve played this role better, however I understand they needed a big name actor for the lead role and he was probably the best they could get. Brazilian actress, Rebecca Da Costa picks up the slack and turns in a great performance with everything she was asked to do. Hopefully, this role will lead to bigger things for her.

The plot is the main problem with the film. It has everything you would want from a thriller and plenty of star power. There is one thing that really irked me, we see Jack with the bag but aren’t shown how he got it. He has a hand wound and claims to have been shot, however we never see that scene. It was probably just a way to save money and it doesn’t impact the story, it just got on my nerves. Most of these movies have a story that ends with a bang. Examples are “Saw” or “Tape.” However, this movie doesn’t quite know how it wants to end. Should it be a shoot-out, or maybe a big reveal about what is in the bag? The audience does want these things, but when we get all of them and then more, it gets tiresome.

The production value is very good for a movie with a low budget and could easily pass for a commercial film with a wide release. The soundtrack is appropriate without being overbearing and the guns and explosions are top notch. The movie was directed by David Grovic who keeps things simple and doesn’t try to take over the film with fancy shots or editing. “The Bag Man” is a solid thriller that takes twists and turns towards the end and tries to keep the audience on its toes throughout the film. There are better movies in the genre and some film experts will be able to tell what is going to happen the entire way. This is not the movie for them. In the end, it is a standard thriller with a good cast giving hit or miss performances.

Chance Parker

Chance Parker