Movie Review: Held Up (1999)

Synopsis: Michael and Rae are vacationing in the Southwest when she learns he used their $15,000 new house money to buy a classic car instead. Angry, she breaks up with him and hitches a ride to the Las Vegas airport. Michael wants to follow her and make things right. However, his attempt to reconcile is delayed when his car is stolen and a botched convenience store robbery results in him being taken hostage.

Who's in it? The movie stars Jamie Foxx, Nia Long, Barry Corbin, Eduardo Yanez and Jake Busey.

Review: My wife and I decided to celebrate Independence Day with my parents yesterday evening and, after using their grill to make brats and burgers, I wound up in the living room with my dad. He had this movie on and, while I wasn't sure I would like it at first, I have to admit it was a better film than I was expecting it to be.

I think the thing that really impressed me about this movie was it didn't rely solely on Foxx to make the film interesting. There were a whole mess of characters, ranging from the local sheriff (Corbin) to the harmonica playing convenience store owner (John Cullum) that kept the movie funny.

This, in turn, managed to keep the film from being too predictable. Since none of the major players seemed to have any sort of common sense, it was hard to tell just how the film would turn out. And, as everyone continued to show their incompetence (using a skunk instead of tear gas, for example), the film just kept me that much more entertained.

That being said, I do think this film was sorely lacking a bad guy. Since the robber (Yanez) really didn't fit that description, it would have been great to see the sheriff be a bit more of a hard ass or, at minimum, see someone from the SWAT team fill that void. The movie wasn't necessarily bad without that type of character. It's just the ending seemed like it was missing something because there wasn't some jerk that deserved to be humiliated as the movie was wrapping up.

Final Opinion: This is actually a surprisingly funny film. There was, as I mentioned, something lacking toward the end. But, I thought the movie was much more entertaining than I was expecting it to be and I would recommend it because of that.

My Grade: B


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