2 Days in the Valley

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:44 Long
A Review by:
Stu Gotz

2 Days in the Valley
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: Jeff Daniels, Eric Stoltz, Danny Aiello, Teri Hatcher, James Spader
MPAA Rated: R
Kiddie Movie: Not if you want your kids to turn out like me.
Date Movie: I’d bring a chick to see this movie, but then again I thought it was OK to bring my mom to see Sirens.
Gratuitous Sex: A little. Spader does a nice job with an ice cube on Charlize Theron.
Gratuitous Violence: It’s no Scarface, but then again it ain’t Mary Poppins.
Action: The movie flows well but it’s no Die Hard.
Laughs: A little dry humor.
Memorable Scene: The cat fight between Hatcher and Theron.
Memorable Quote: The banter between characters wasn’t sharp like that in Clerks or Caddie Shack so memorizing lines from this movie would just mean your a loser without a life.
Directed By: John Herzfeld

When I saw the previews for “2 Days In The Valley” I said to myself “Self, you gotta see this movie!” But, much to my dismay, the Friday it opened I had no one to go with. I almost considered going alone but decided to wait instead. It wasn’t until a week later that I got my chance to see the movie. I’m glad I waited and didn’t go alone (thereby taking the chance of being labeled a loser) because the movie wasn’t all that great.

“2 Days In The Valley” is a murder movie that tries to have a Tarantino edge. Hard as it tries it fails at that. There are a lot of great characters, portrayed by great actors, in this movie, but none of them are really fully developed. For example… Jeff Daniels plays a vice cop that hates hookers and is on the edge of a nervous breakdown. He lives across from a golf course and in one good scene he pulls his gun on some golfers that just broke his window. The good Lord knows I’ve broken my share of windows on a golf course and I’m thankful the home owners have never pulled a gun on me! Anyway, Daniels holds the golfers at bay for a few and just walks away calling them “hacks.” His role is so small in this movie that I’m not sure why the writer even shows us that he’s burdened by depression.

Eric Stoltz plays Daniels partner. Eric is a vice cop trying to make detective. Although he’s been on the force for 10 years he’s still a little fresh and is falling for an Asian hooker. But that’s all the movie gives you. Again… Why bother giving us so much personal detail if it doesn’t pay off in the end? Paul Mazursky plays a washed up and suicidal movie writer/director that quite frankly I could care less about. His character adds nothing to the story line except that he shoots Spader and later, the movie hints that the whole situation he finds himself in inspires him to write a movie that will save his career (the movie Get Shorty kind of does the same thing). Then there’s Superman’s babe Teri Hatcher. She plays an Olympic skier who hires James Spader to kill her cheating husband. Aside from a nice ass shot and a good cat fight we get very little of Hatcher in this movie.

So who does this movie focus on. Danny Aiello’s “washed-out hit man” character. Danny is a great actor that does a great job of being pretty smart hit man with a dislike for dogs (or is it they dislike him?). Danny gets hired by James Spader to assist him in his murder for hire job. Spader does a great job of being a “jealous, psycho, murder for hire creep.”

The movie breaks down like this: It’s early in the AM and Terry Hatcher is in bed with her ex-husband. Spader and Aiello break in, juice Hatcher, and kill her ex. Then Spader kills Aiello, or so he thinks (Aiello was wearing a bullet proof vest). It turns out later that Hatcher hired Spader to kill her ex for the insurance money – that and he was a cheating bastard whom she hated. Having done the job, Spader wants to get paid but the money is in a safe at the murder scene. No problem. Spader goes there and offs the detectives to get the money. This whole time Aiello is trying to avoid the cops and get out of Dodge alive. In doing so he stumbles across a group of innocent by-standards and involves them in his mess. He also falls for a girl during this time (can Hollywood make a movie without a love interest?). This whole scenario flows like a British farce.

As fate would have it, his and Spader’s paths cross again. This time Spader gets it. Well it’s night now and in the morning we see Aiello riding off into the sunset and Hatcher hits bricks too. So really it was only 1 and 1/2 days in the valley. Whew…

Like I said before, this movie has a lot of great characters portrayed by some great actors. But, the movie as a whole just doesn’t come together. I get the feeling that “2 Days In The Valley” was a screen play that had too much good material, a lot got cut before shooting, and a lot more wound up on the editing room floor. Despite all that, it was still an OK movie and I don’t regret having to pay $7.50 to see it.

I give “2 Days In The Valley” 3 1/2 out of 5 stars and I’m Stu Gotz. ’nuff said.