Quick Change (1990) / Comedy-Thriller

MPAA Rated: R for language (A few less F-words, and it would be PG)
Running Time: 89 min.


Cast: Bill Murray, Geena Davis, Randy Quaid, Jason Robards, Bob Elliott, Brian McConnachie, Phil Hartman, Tony Shalhoub, Stanley Tucci, Kurtwood Smith
Director: Howard Franklin, Bill Murray
Screenplay: Howard Franklin (based on the book by Jay Cronley)
Review published January 4, 2005

Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Caddyshack) stars as Grimm, a man who dresses like a clown in order to fool the police when he and his two cohorts commit a bank robbery which sees them taking away a million dollars.  As fine as the heist goes, they still need to catch a plane out of town without getting caught, and in a city as crazy as New York, that's easier said than done. 

Taken as a straight heist comedy, Quick Change has its clever moments, but it's not nearly as hilarious as the insider's look at New York City, and some of the comical things that make living there so frustrating.  As depicted in the movie, it's no wonder our hapless trio need to gat away.  Astronomical rent, crazy city construction, muggings, crime bosses, irate bus drivers and more are fodder for Howard Franklin (The Public Eye, The Man Who Knew Too Little) to poke fun at, succeeding in delivering laughs above and beyond the plot of the film itself.

At under 90 minutes, Quick Change moves at an economical clip, giving us just enough entertainment without overstaying its welcome.  Good performances all around, with another hilarious smart-ass character for Bill Murray (who would also co-direct) to play.   It's probably the best Bill Murray film you've never heard of, so if you're a fan, it's well worth your time.

Qwipster's rating:

2005 Vince Leo