review for The Velocity of Gary on AllMovie

The Velocity of Gary (1998)
by Derek Armstrong review

The Velocity of Gary (Not His Real Name) could have been just an ordinary bad movie about the fragility of life in the age of AIDS. But the obnoxious title of Dan Ireland's film turns it into something more insidious: pointless pretentiousness, rendered more tedious by its lack of conviction. It amounts to a vanity project for executive producer/star Vincent D'Onofrio, in the sense that the bisexual porn star he plays -- not really named Valentino -- mesmerizes his acquaintances in a manner exceeding all evidence of his sex appeal or charisma. Since he is inexplicably worshipped as the source of all that is right and good in the world, his illness is dramatized as the most profound and unjust in the history of the AIDS virus -- or any other virus, for that matter. Which leads to a protracted third act full of moping and "why, God, why" anguish, as if the acting chops of Thomas Jane and Salma Hayek could withstand any closer scrutiny. It's unclear why Valentino would put up with either of them, let alone both at the same time. A cameo by Ethan Hawke does not help push the film toward anyone's idea of "hip," except maybe those involved. But their judgments should be considered pretty suspicious, given the poor filmmaking in ample supply throughout so many dead patches and miscues.