Volume 90, Issue 92

Wednesday, March 19, 1997



A city couldn't be this pathetic or boring

Gazette file photo
SITTING IN BOREDOM, LIKE THE VIEWERS. Timothy Hutton and Harvey Keitel wait for an opportunity to get a good role in the substandard City of Industry.

City of Industry
Starring Harvey Keitel, Stephen Dorff, Timothy Hutton and Famke Janssen
Directed by John Irvin
At Famous Players 6, 7:30 and 9:50 p.m.

Imagine that, while living your life as you always have, someone decides to go behind your back, rob you blind and kill your family and friends. What do you do (not stated in an empty-headed, surfer type Speed sort of way)? The obvious answer is to go to the police, appealing to their authority and protection which you would need.

Now there's one more twist that needs to be added. Firstly, and this demands a bit of an out-of-body experience, you are Harvey Keitel (but referred to as Roy Egan) and you are a hard-edged criminal. Now what do you do?

Well, if you're as cool as Keitel, then you don't turn to the cops – partially because you aren't into authority, secondly because you were screwed over while robbing a diamond store so they would arrest you – but instead you walk the earth, stating "I'm my own police." What also differentiates you from the average guy is that your enemies, aside from the guy who stole all of the heist money and killed your brother (Timothy Hutton), happen to include the Chinese Mafia and various other gangs.

Sound interesting? One would at least conclude the excitement of such a story would be unstoppable. It would be, that is, unless of course it was written by Ken Solarz and called City of Industry.

Basically, as already mentioned, Keitel (who you no longer have to be), Hutton, Stephen Dorff and Wade Dominguez all partake in a diamond heist which will pay $3.5 million. Hutton and Keitel, old pros at this trade, are also brothers. Once the job is completed, Dorff decides he no longer wants a cut, but instead the entire stash, so he kills Hutton and Dominguez. Keitel gets away, books himself into a hotel room and weeps about his losses. Then he gets mad. Then Solarz tries to fill an hour and a half. Then the movie dies.

The film attempts to track Keitel's journey to Los Angeles and ultimately, his attempts to face Dorff one more time, but it does so in an extremely uneventful manner. This movie couldn't be considered anything more than pathetically boring. Director John Irvin chooses to show more outdoor shots of buildings and characters as they walk down halls or to their cars than a movie could ever possibly need.

In scenes that should be interesting, like Dorff turning to the Chinese Mafia to hit Keitel, we instead see a really long, dragged out conversation with testosterone-boy paying off an organization.

The film's story goes a very short distance but takes a long time to do so. Unfortunately, the movie attempts to be a little more scenic, which results in it being a little less intriguing – like consistently following characters from a-to-b instead of just cutting from one scene to the next. And the film is also a little less action packed than a title like City of Industry suggests unless it's about a steel town, in which case this is a blast.

I can't help but refer to one of the poorly stated lines by Dorff who, after killing yet another of his friends, says "Nobody rips me off." You know what Stevie, I thought the same thing myself before this weekend.

–Jonathan Hale

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997