A Simple Plan, starring Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thorton (nominated for an Academy Award for this movie), Bridget Fonda, and Brent Brisco, is a thriller from director Sam Raimi. The movie's title describes the plot perfectly, but, of course, as in all these kinds of movies, things don't go as planned. What started out as a simple crime ends up as a web of deceit, murder, and paranoia, and A Simple Plan takes a slightly more unique approach.
While a lot of these movies seem to entail characters that are deceitful from the beginning and purposely kill to get away with whatever they're stealing (usually money), A Simple Plan's characters are innocent, at least at the beginning. Paxton's character starts out reluctant but quickly - almost too quickly - changes to the deceiving side. He spends a whole scene telling his more simplistic pals, his brother Jacob (Thorton) and his friend Lou (Brisco), that they shouldn't tell anybody, including their wives. But almost instantly, Paxton reveals the money to his wife, and very shortly after, she joins in. She further complicates things by suggesting he do things to keep the money under wraps. Paxton willingly obeys and more problems ensue, like murder.
Thorton is the most respectable of the group. A little on the slow side, he wants to take the money just because he found it. There really was no greed behind him other than that he couldn't resist four million in cash (who could?). He ends up regretting his mistake but cannot break out of the conspiracy.
The acting is great in A Simple Plan but the characters are sort of stupid. Stupid as in a personality trait. Even Paxton, the smartest of the group, makes a lot of stupid mistakes. These guys are constantly letting things slip, constantly acting nervous, and constantly wrecking their possibility of making it by doing stupid things.
A Simple Plan has a good story and good actors, but sometimes the mistakes that are made in the film are just a little too stupid. And the movie can lag in parts.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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