"Tom Hanks is the greatest American Actor....um...hold on a sec..."
If it only took us 2 hours to read an 800 page novel, this movie wouldn't be too bad. DePalma tries WAY too hard to condense the entire opus into a reasonable length, and it eventually explodes under the strain.It's typical of Brian DePalma to attempt the impossible - the dude's got an ego the size of Texas. But there's a reason they call things "impossible" - they can't be done. If they could be done, they would be called "possible". Following me here?
Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis were BIG when this movie came out, and it caused them to fall HARD. Didn't Bruce follow this up with "Hudson Hawk"? Didn't Hanks follow this up with "Joe Vs. The Volcano"?
The plot: Hanks plays this uptight stockbroker who accidentally hits a black kid with his car when he gets lost in a bad neighbourhood with his mistress (Melanie Griffith, who deserves a beating with a sack full of doorknobs). His life unravels, while Bruce Willis, playing a drunken reporter rides the story to fame and fortune. Having read the book, I understood everything, but if somebody walked into the movie knowing nothing about it ("Hey, I liked Hudson Hawk and Joe Vs. the Volcano - this MUST be good!") I'd be amazed if they could follow the plot.
Interesting note: A lot of characters changed nationalities, religions, and in one case, entire races in the transition from book to movie. Morgan Freeman's character was originally a white jew, Bruce Willis was originally British, etc.
This was a noble experiment, but "Bonfire" was just TOO big a book to condense into a 2-hour movie. "Gone With the Wind" took 4 hours to tell, and they still left out a lot.
And Tom Hanks stunk in this movie. Bruce Willis did too, but that's not really surprising.Not really worth seeing unless you've read the book.