Wednesday, March 4, 2009

City Hall - Al Pacino, John Cusack (1996)


Perusing the list of John Cusack's films today, I spotted one that I had not seen: City Hall.

Made 12 years ago, Cusack looks so young. But, hey, didn't we all?

He plays a deputy mayor to Mayor of New York, played with resounding aplomb by none other than Al Pacino.

Geemenee Christmas, that Al Pacino can ACT! But I'll get to that in a minute . . .

A man walks his 6-year old son to school. As they cross the street a snitch hooks up a detective with a low-life drug pusher. Guns start firing, the pusher and the detective go down and in the midst of the exchange, the little boy is killed.

City Hall is notified and Kevin Calhoun (Cusack), who manages Mayor John Pappas, steps in to clean things up for the mayor and begins to uncover a complicated series of graft.

But back to Al. He decides, against advisement, to speak at the young boy's funeral. Facing an angry crowd of constituents who want to know why he's not cleaning up the city, Pacino literally turns the crowd around with a mesmerizing performance of a speech.

A good movie, I have to confess that Cusack's attempts at a Louisiana accent fails dismally. But he's still adorable and still convincing in the role.

The movie also stars Bridget Fonda, Danny Aiello, Martin Landau.

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