The Usual Suspects
(By Gerry Wang)

Gerry Wang

(Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Toro, directed by Bryan Singer)

_____Every once in a while, a movie is made that just becomes dear to your heart. You can watch it over and over, and you memorize every last line of the script. The characters become your best friend. You know their every quirk, every nuance, and when the movie ends, you miss them as companions.

_____For me, THE USUAL SUSPECTS was just such a movie. I loved it from the minute it started, and I saw it again and again. It reminds me that movies don't always have to be about explosions and killing. Good movies are made w/ good writing, which is apparent in THE USUAL SUSPECTS, which won a Screenplay Oscar for writer Christopher McQuarrie.

_____THE USUAL SUSPECTS revolves around a mythical figure named Keyser Soze. The whole world's underground knows and fears Keyser Soze. He is supposedly the most evil criminal on Earth, and the most vengeful. Like he'll kill your entire family, then your relatives, then your friends, then your friends' next door neighbor if you screw w/ him. But the question is, does Keyser Soze exist? Or is he just another bedtime story crooks tell their children before they sleep?

_____The story stops off w/ a dumbwitted cripple played by Kevin Spacey being questioned about his participation in a heist supposedly set up by Keyser Soze. The plot is basically a flashback of the entire heist operation, about how the dim-witted cripple partnered up w/ these weirdo criminals to do the heist. But something ain't right about his story.

_____The plot is full of twists and turns, double crosses and the like. It's pretty complicated. That's why you should watch it more than once. You'll always catch something new. Whether it be a glance or a certain phrase from a character, you'll see it.

_____I also love this movie because of its characters. Kevin Spacey's key role is played very convincingly. Things about his character gradually become totally shocking. Benicio Del Toro's lispy character is also hilarious. You can't really understand what he says, but it sounds so weird and he looks so funny that you keep laughing.

_____Of course this movie is full of violence and cursing. But it fits. This is a very good noir film. A classic whodunit full of mysteries and surprises. And the myth about Keyser Soze has embedded itself in our pop culture. I hear the name, and I shudder. He truly is the embodiment of the devil. "And just like that, he vanishes." That last line keeps haunting me.

Chick-o-meter: 4 (even girls will love this mysterious film's aura)