Saint John of Las Vegas is an indie comedy that features film veteran Steve Buscemi in the title role. The actor is mostly known for his supporting parts but this time he’s front and center leading an ensemble cast of characters. Saint John is a film that attempts to shed a comedic light on the world of insurance fraud, and it uses a compulsive gambler and a shady investigator to do it.
- Director: Hue Rhodes
- Writers: Hue Rhodes (screenplay), Dante Alighieri (based on a story)
- Cast: Steve Buscemi, Romany Malco, Sarah Silverman, Peter Dinklage, Danny Trejo, Tim Blake Nelson, Emmanuelle Chriqui, John Cho
John is a heavy gambler who’s trying his hand at recovery. He moved from Las Vegas to Albuquerque in an attempt to get away from his demons and start anew. Those good intentions come crashing down when his boss sends him and his silent but deadly partner Virgil (Malco) to Vegas to investigate an insurance claim. He’s naturally reluctant but the promise of a promotion and higher pay sweetens the deal. We follow the duo as they investigate various witnesses, the crash site, and local authorities to find out if the accident was legit or a set up.
- Characters: With the exception of one in particular, each character in this film was just that. They were off the wall and unique indivuiduals that John and Virgil ran into on their journey. They made the story interesting and kept it from lagging in certain parts. If they weren’t there this movie would have been a complete bust.
- Story: The premise for Saint John isn’t bad, it’s just a victim of bad execution. About halfway through the film you get lost in the story and not in a good way. It becomes so convoluted that you end up with a certain outcome without any idea as to how you got there.
- Sarah Silverman: This was not your typical, hilarious Sarah Silverman, here she plays a ditsy piece of arm candy who’s obsessed with yellow smiley faces. In one word her character is annoying. You never get to see the sassy comedienne hiding underneath, which is a waste of your time and her talent.
- Dialogue: There are a few monologues in the film that John dishes out that go completely over your head. The opening dialogue in the beginning is the worst. It in no way catches your attention or makes you the least bit interested in what this film has the offer, which is a big mistake.
Saint John of Las Vegas is a road trip/investigative comedy that makes you want to get off at the first stop. There are very few laughs, and a lot of wasted talent through out the entire film. It’s definitely not worth your time.
Saint John of Las Vegas opens in limited release on January 29, 2010.