Synopsis by Michael Betzold
In the mode of Quentin Tarantino, this film, directed by Gary Fleder from a script by Scott Rosenberg, concerns itself with hip, smart gangsters. The film is set in Denver, and the title comes from a Warren Zevon song. A retired, good-hearted gangster named Jimmy the Saint (Andy Garcia) runs a company that videotapes dying people giving life advice to their children and grandchildren, to be delivered when they come of age. Jimmy's former crime boss, The Man with the Plan (Christopher Walken), summons him. The Man is wheelchair-bound and doesn't have long to live; he explains that Jimmy owes him a favor and must perform one final job. It involves frightening the boyfriend of the ex-girlfriend of Bernard (Michael Nicolosi), the son of The Man, who has been so shaken by the girl's rejection of him that he has been fondling schoolyard children. Jimmy rounds up his old gang -- including Pieces (Christopher Lloyd), a porno theater projectionist; Franchise (William Forsythe), an ex-biker with a trailer-trash family to support; Critical Bill (Treat Williams), a psychotic, trigger-happy ex-con; and Easy Wind (Bill Nunn), an exterminator. Pieces and Bill pose as cops as part of the needlessly elaborate plan, which misfires badly. The Man, enraged, gives Jimmy 48 hours to leave town, and he orders his comrades wiped out, hiring the notorious hitman Mr. Shhh (Steve Buscemi) to track them down. But Jimmy can't seem to get the others to leave town, and despite The Man's decree, Jimmy is also reluctant to leave, because he's become romantically entangled with Dagney (Gabrielle Anwar). Jack Warden's character serves as a kind of Greek chorus who comments from time to time on the unfolding action.
gangster, blackmail, going-straight, hitman, love, on-the-run, one-against-odds, redemption, rescue