I Know What You Did Last Summer star Ryan Phillippe has the leading role in 54, a movie about the infamous Studio 54. Also starring is Salma Hayek as a sexy, rising singer, Mike Myers as the strange owner of the club, Steve Rubell, and Neve Campbell as Julie Black, a smalltime actress who is trying to make it big any way she can, and is also the object of Phillippe's affections.
Studio 54 was a place where anyone could be famous, as long as they got in. Phillippe gets lucky early on and manages to later get a job there. He is promoted to bartender and a whole new world opens up to him, where he is famous and gets to meet famous people. Of course, in the underbelly of 54, the manager is evading the IRS, drug use is becoming ever so frequent, and nothing unusual seems unusual.
The movie itself is well done. It seemingly portrays Studio 54 pretty well and also creates a good set of characters, namely Shane (Phillippe), Anita (Salma Hayek), and her husband Greg (Breckin Meyer). It follows a plot similar to several other films where one naive kid gets accepted into a world he can't possibly apprehend, and while he enjoys it at first, he realizes that it isn't as great as it seems.
As far as acting goes, it is pretty impressive. Phillippe, who has stuck mainly to teeny bopper films, does a pretty good job. Salma Hayek brings her sexiness to the screen once more, and also shows off her acting skills. Neve Campbell has one of her sexier roles, even though she doesn't show much skin (which means her character's traits work well). The star of the show is Mike Myers, who uses a sort of dope-up, conceited voice. He uses a blend of drama and comedy that works well with what he has been doing (Austin Powers, "SNL") and also shows that he can be serious when he wants to.
The only real problem 54 has is that it gives me no reason to watch it again. A good, captivating movie should draw me in for seconds, but 54's novelty dies off after the first outing. The movie is interesting and sexy, but has nothing to offer for more than an hour and a half.
One really remarkable scene is at the end, though. After Steve Rubell returns from prison, he has a party at Studio 54 in honor of his return. He is standing above everyone, smiling, and saying how everyone in the room is his friend. Then, after his moment is over, the music starts up again and people start dancing. As Phillipe says something like, "Steve realized the party was over," the lights fade out on Mike Myers, and you can see that he isn't smiling like he used to. This is a classic scene.
54 is worth watching but doesn't have much replay value.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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