Movies You Aught Not Watch: 15 Minutes
“Movies You Aught Not Watch” is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films from 2000 to 2009.
What you are about to read will spoil this movie. Don’t get mad. This will spare you quite a bit of mental agony and brutally executed brain cells. You’re welcome.
The good news about 2001’s “15 Minutes”: Dying 80 minutes in proved the smartest move Robert De Niro made during his many awful Zeroes movies.
As a cop tracking a pair of killers seeking fame for their crimes, De Niro’s last stand comes duct-taped to a chair, flailing and firing a gun with his hands bound — a coincidental symbol for his last decade of acting.
The horrible, terrible, no good, very bad news about “15 Minutes”: Once De Niro dies, Edward Burns is asked to carry the movie.
An alley flasher, a pubescent paperboy, a toy with a broken squeaker. Burns’ voice sounds like all of those things, but plays none of them. No, he’s a fire marshal named Jordy Warsaw, investigating those same criminals for arson. Yes, Jordy Warsaw.
Jordy Warsaw sounds like a character Pauly Shore might play. Arguably, Shore would lend more conviction to the part. Burns looks as menacing brandishing a gun as a toddler licking a lollipop. And you’ll want to rip out his bangs to extract anything resembling emotion.
Like a TV movie with profanity and lurid violence, John Herzfeld’s film lousily, loathsomely posed as commentary on judicial flaws and shallow values. If you didn’t get it after 105 minutes, how about a “Fame” cover to hammer it home?
By the time “15 Minutes” closed with an amateurish shootout near the Statue of Liberty — where even the symbolism got sprayed by bullets — it sure felt like a poor, tired, muddled mess of a movie.