A Simple Plan, A Simple Plan Movie Review, Movie Review, Film Review
Michael A. Maynez   photo

A Simple Plan

Bill Paxton, one of the most understated and underrated actors in Hollywood gives one of the most terrific performances of his career. It is a thin line that divides a good person to do so much evil, especially when the reward is four million dollars, to be divided among three people.

Billy Bob Thornton plays his half-witted brother, and Brent Briscoe, his friend, a redneck to end all rednecks. Where Thornton is being heavily touted as a brilliant portrayal, I found him to be acting out scenes and trying too hard to be a half-wit. Where Paxton is more natural and convincing in his role as husband and father to be, his wife admirably portrayed by Bridget Fonda. The three come across a down plane that has fallen into a snowy revine, killing the pilot and leaving a stash of four million bucks. Temptations mount and the premise of what to do with so much loot, becomes the catalyst of what would you do. The decent thing or keep the money and run. Everybody’s concept is not the same and each individual has separate dreams and aspirations, which will eventually lead everyone to avarice, greed and very tragic consequences. But not before we all are railroaded into believing that just possible things may work out.

Sam Raimi has directed a very taut script from author Scott B. Smith’s novel of the same name. Everything may be simple when you first plan it, but execution is always unattainable in its simplicity. The picture is very violent in some gun blasting scenes. The fact that it was shot against the snowy backgrounds and has overtones of last year’s clever flick “Fargo”.

A Simple Plan

Bill Paxton
Billy Bob Thornton
Brent Briscoe
Bridget Fonda
Jack Walsh
Chelcie Ross
Becky Ann Baker
Gary Cole

Directed by ---------------- Sam Raimi
Produced by --------------- James Jacks, Adam Schroeder
Executive producers ------- Gary Levinsohn, Mark Gordon
Co-producer -------------- Michael Polaire
Assistant director ---------- Newt Arnold
Screenplay ---------------- Scott B. Smith, based on his novel.
Camera by ---------------- Alar Kivilo
Editors -------------------- Arthur Coburn, Eric L. Beason; music, Danny Elfman
Production designer ------- Patrizia von Brandenstein
Costume designer --------- Julie Weiss
Special effects supervisor -- John D. Milinac
MPAA: Rated R for violence and language.
Running time: 117 min

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Original Date 5 January 1999