Review by Susan Granger
March 7, 2001
Roden, Oleg Taktarov). "I love America! No one is responsible for what
they do," marvels the cunning Czech, while the Russian obsessively records
their crime spree on video tape. Using their media attention to attain
fame, they capture the attention of a glib tabloid news anchor (Kelsey
Grammer) and wind up as his lurid "Top Story."
|"In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,"
said Andy Warhol, back in 1967, and this action thriller follows a celebrated
New York Homicide Detective (Robert De Niro) who teams up with an idealistic,
young Fire Dept. Arson Investigator (Edward Burns) to track down a pair
of Eastern European killers (Karel
While director/writer John Herzfeld ("2 Days in the Valley") "borrows"
much of this concept from "Network," the plot has the subtlety of
a sledgehammer. Cinematographer Jean Yves Escoffier creates edgy suspense,
particularly during the graphic arson scenes. Wearing a black wig, Charlize
Theron does a cameo as the madam at an escort service, Melina Kankaredes
("Providence") is a reporter, and Kim Cattrall ("Sex and the City") scores
as a ruthless "If it bleeds, it leads" TV producer. Robert De Niro's role
is so reminiscent of his previous performances that he seems to do it effortlessly,
if superficially, while Edward Burns struggles to overcome the sheer blandness
of the way his part is written. As the savvy sociopaths, Karel Roden and
Oleg Taktarov steal the picture, leaving Kelsey Grammer as a slimy, one-dimensional
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "15 Minutes" is a gritty, satirical
6. If sensational fame is truly the American game, we're all losers.