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15 Minutes

IF ONLY IT WERE JUST FIFTEEN MINUTES…

A Video Review of 15 Minutes

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

Probably Andy Warhol’s most well known contribution to pop culture is his quote, “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” It’s also the thrust of the movie 15 Minutes written and directed by New Jersey native John Herzfeld who also did 2 Days in the Valley and a whole slew of movies for TV.

Two Russian criminals on a murder spree in New York decide to film their exploits for tabloid TV to get ‘their fifteen minutes’ thus living out the American dream. Played by Karel Roden and Oleg Taktaarov they are almost like a murderous east European Abbott and Costello.

On the side of the angels this time are the critically invincible Robert DeNiro as a media savy cop and Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen, Saving Private Ryan) as an arson investigator. They do their best to contrast each other and sometimes it works.

Rounding out the cast Kelsey Grammer actually has me believing him as a tabloid TV reporter and I hate “Fraiser.” He’s good herewith a surprising foul mouth. Perhaps if he dropped a few F bombs on “Fraiser” it might be worth watching. It is always great to see Avery Brooks as he should be seen – out of Starfleet uniform. Look for David Alan Grier as the mugger in the park. It’s one of his funniest bits in years. And don’t miss Rosanne’s cameo as Jerry Springer.

15 Minutes is extraordinarily ultraviolent, definitely deserving of an R rating. It is an excellent “Columbo” type mystery in places. The relationship between the criminals is a bit disturbing to say the least. DeNiro and Burns do some of the best detective work this side of “Profiler” but none of this can save this film.

It’s just too long. The movie never seems to end. If only it were just fifteen minutes long it might be worth it.