My Favorite Movies #62 – The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects - PosterThe Usual Suspects

1995

Directed by Bryan Singer

Netflix says… When five unacquainted crooks are hauled into a police station to appear in a criminal lineup, they decide to pull off a heist together. The plan gets complicated, however, when they intermix with an underworld kingpin named Keyser Söze.

  • I’m not sure what the rules are in Hollywood these days. Am I still allowed to like this movie?
  • I only ask because of the recent scandals involving Bryan Singer and Kevin Spacey.
  • Let’s just pretend that it’s okay to still enjoy this movie, okay?
  • It’s actually been a long time since I watched this.
  • From what I can remember, I don’t think there’s a whole lot I can really share in this kind of post.
  • Because I really don’t want to give anything away.
  • Although, at the same time, if I’m spoiling a movie that came out 24 years ago, that’s really on you.
  • We begin with a dark figure called Keyser shooting Gabriel Byrne and then setting off an explosion.
  • There are only two survivors: a Hungarian with severe burns named Kovash and Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), a con artist with cerebral palsy.
  • Then we jump back six weeks.
  • Verbal is narrating, giving the story to U.S. Customs agent Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri).
  • Five known felons are grabbed by the NYPD on suspicion of stealing a truck full of guns.
  • Aside from Kint, we’ve got Dean Keaton (Byrne), Michael McManus (Stephen Baldwin), Fred Fenster (Benecio del Toro), and Todd Hockney (Kevin Pollack).
  • Together, they don’t much like that they were all wrongfully arrested for the hijacking of the truck.
  • So the bad guys team up to pull a heist that would take down a jewel smuggler along with a bunch of dirty cops.
  • Our crooks head out to LA to move the jewels through a man named Redfoot, who them hooks them up with another jewel heist.
  • But this one goes badly.
  • When they find out the heist was arranged by a lawyer named Kobayashi, they meet with him.
  • This lawyer informs them that they have each unwittingly stolen from his boss, a Turkish crime lord named Keyser Soze.
  • Keyser is the one who arranged for each of them to get arrested back in New York.
  • Now he has a job for them to do: raid and destroy a ship carrying $91 million in cocaine.
  • As Kovash is interrogated, he reveals that the ship had no cocaine. But Keyser Soze was on board.
  • This Keyser Soze is one bad dude. He’s like an urban legend that no one has ever really been able to identify.
  • In the end, all but Verbal are killed.
  • The point of the job was to take down groups from Argentinian and Hungarian mobs.
  • From Verbal’s story, Kujan deduces that Keaton was behind it all and was, therefore, Keyser Soze.
  • Verbal posts bail and is released.
  • Then Kujan begins to look around the room and see that Verbal’s story was pieced together using clues that he could see from where he was sitting. This includes “Kobayashi’s” name, taken from a brand of coffee.
  • At the same time, a fax comes in from the hospital. It’s a composite drawing based on the Hungarian’s description of Keyser Soze. Looks a lot like Verbal Kint.
  • Outside, Verbal’s limp goes away and he quickly walks to a car driven by Not Kobayashi.
  • Keyser Soze disappears, remaining nothing more than an urban legend.
  • “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

Guess I ruined the ending for you. Because now you know who Keyser Soze really is. But the movie is 24 years old. I still say that’s on you at this point. Come back next week when we’ll find out if there’s crying in baseball.

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