The Usual Suspects review
After a bloody carnage in a ship, which is believed to be the trade spot for drugs worth of 91 million dollars, only two survivors remain. One is a cripple and the other is a badly burned mafia guy who slips to coma .Upon further investigation, the cripple, after being given total immunity due to a lot of political pressure, reveals that he was a part of the team of mercenaries who were instructed to hit the boat and to destroy the drugs. The cops do not find any trace of the drugs.
The film then reverts back, upon the recollection of the cripple, to a police line-up staged up by the New York police to find the culprit who stole a truck filled with stripped gun parts. The only clue is the voice of one of the men who attacked the truck. The police gathers up 5 suspects and investigates them. Their voices are checked and they are put in the same room. Amongst them are the felon partners McManus(A top notch entry man) and Fenster, Todd Hockney (good with explosives and a real tough guy) ,Dean Keaton(a former corrupt cop and already presumed dead) and Roger ‘ Verbal’ Kint (cripple, soft spoken and the man with the plan ).
The suspects do not yield anything to the cops who were desperately hoping that someone might slip something. But, right under their something else is happening. McManus proposes a new ‘job’ and everybody is interested, everybody except Keaton. Being reformed now and living with a lawyer now, he does not want to go back to his former life.
Verbal comes up with a plan involving five men. Five, including Keaton. McManus tells Verbal that he’ll be included if and only if Verbal could convince Keaton to join them. After being briefed by Verbal and after realizing that the police are not going to leave him alone now that they have found out that he’s alive, he agrees.
They plan to attack New York’s finest taxi service. Don’t get this wrong but this finest taxi service is not an ordinary taxi service. It’s a ring of corrupt cops who runs a high profit racket driving smugglers, drug dealers and other culprits all over the city for a few hundred dollars a mile. They attack these guys while they are ‘transporting’ and Keaton makes an anonymous phone call, thus ending the entire racket and resulting in the imprisonment of the corrupt cops. Yep, Business along with pleasure.
Then they go to visit a man called Red foot at Los Angeles, who gives jobs to McManus. He asks them to hit a jeweler from Texas called as Saul, who always carries a lot of cash. Red foot wants the merchandise and offers the team any money they find with Saul. But, as it turns out, Saul is a drug dealer and he has nothing except the ‘merchandise’ .Enraged, the guys quarrel with Red foot, who tells them that he was offered the job by a lawyer called as Kobayashi. They arrange a meeting with the lawyer.
Meanwhile, the guy in the coma wakes up and reveals that Keiser Soze was responsible for the killing of 27 men in the ship and he was there killing men. The word gets to Dave Kujan, one of the investigating officers from New York and he urges Verbal to reveal all the information.
Verbal starts recalling the night at which they were proposed a deal by the lawyer Kobayashi. Verbal recalls that when the lawyer revealed that he works for Keyser Soze, everybody freezes in horror. He also reveals that it is Soze who tipped off the police on their locations for the police lineup. He also says that if they fail to comply, they’ll be betrayed by tipping off the cops, of who killed Saul and his bodyguards. Kobayashi says that Soze wants them for a job of stopping the deal. A deal worth 91 million dollars of money, drugs and Soze’s opposition drug dealers are involved. The objective is to stop the deal, destroy the drugs and to seize the money for the team itself.
Not knowing who Soze is, Verbal asks the others who he is. Soze is supposed to be born to a German father and is Turkish. Nobody knew if he was for real. He always uses people indirectly and never gets revealed. As Kobayashi puts it,” One cannot be betrayed if one has no people.” Soze is a cold butcher and a fearless psycho. A tale is told to Verbal of how Soze killed a opposition drug mob, back in his days at Turkey, when he was a small time gangster.
One day, the mob guys come to his home, captures Soze’s family and waits for him to return. Upon his return, the Hungarian mobsters kill his son as a warning in front of him and demand his territory and all of his business. Soze draws his gun, shoots all of his family and then the gangsters. He lets one go alive to pass the message. He then goes after the mob. He kills their kids, their wives, their parents, their friends and lastly them. He later goes underground and becomes a myth. Verbal also reveals that he’s afraid of Soze.
Dave says that Soze will come after Verbal and asks him to turn state evidence. But, Verbal denies and recalls the events after that.
The next day, they find Fenster gone and the same night they get a phone call on where to find Fenstar. The guys then go to kill Kobayashi and finds that their loved ones are in threat. Finding no other way other than to attack the abundant and wary guards, they come up with a plan to tackle the guards. But, what they find out confuses them. There’s no dope on the boat and they find that they are killed one by one .Verbal escapes as he did not get on the boat.
Dave Kujan does not agree with many things verbal has told him. First of all, he could not believe Keaton retired for a woman from crime, who was indicted for 7 times totally while in the police force during which the witnesses either reversed their testimony or simply died . When he finally gets to prison, he kills 3 prisoners inside.
Second, he thinks that Keaton arranged the hit on the corrupt cops, not Verbal.
Third, he accuses Verbal of having idolized Keaton and trying to show him to be a good guy. And he suspects that Keaton is still alive somewhere once again.
And ultimately, he suspects that Keaton is Keiser Soze, who engineered everything from the start and the only reason that Verbal is alive is because he regards Keaton as a friend and admires him. The perfectly programmed weakling, to tell what he was made to believe, to the police, which would wipe out the doubts. He points out that all the pressure coming for his release is being generated by Keaton. Dave also reveals that Keaton’s lover was found murdered. He also points out that Verbal just heard the gunshots and did not see Keaton die.
Finally, Verbal concedes that everything done after the police lineup, including the hit on the corrupt police was planned by Keaton and everybody followed him. Dave says that Soze might be nothing but a spook story and asks Verbal to turn into a state evidence, so they can protect him. But, Verbal refuses saying that he’s not a rat to do so and walks out into potential danger.
What happened to Verbal? Who’s Keyser Soze? What happened to Keaton?
Was he really Soze? Did he really die? Were the police able to find out ? And most importantly, if the hit on the boat was not for the drugs (which was never found), what’s the real motive? And why did Soze send some handpicked guys on a wild goose chase and go there himself?
I guarantee you guys, this movie is well worth your time. This movie won two Oscars. One for the screenplay and the other was given to Kevin Spacey for his brilliant performance as Verbal. The way he acted made that character look helpless, soft spoken, intelligent and sentimental. He has lived the role of a cowardly cripple.
Gabriel Byrne as Keaton has acted well too. One look at him and you can tell that he is shrewd and cunning.
The movie has a strong plot and a brilliant cast. It’s not a star cast, but everybody is a good actor. The music is also great and adds to the suspense.
If you have read all this and think that the movie sounds interesting, wait till you see the last 15 minutes. Especially, the climax and the motive for sending them to the ship. Strongly recommended if you want to see a suspense movie.
Director: Bryan Singer.
McManus: Stephen Baldwin.
Keaton: Gabriel Byrne.
Fenster: Benicio Del Toro.
Hockney: Kevin Pollack.
Verbal: Kevin Spacey.
Dave Kujan: Chazz Palminteri.
Music: John Ottman.
Written By Christopher McQuirre.