Keys to Tulsa (1997)

“Keys to Tulsa” is just plain old bad. It’s difficult to try to grind through trying to express its essence, because it does not have much of one. It is not easy to sit and talk about a film that is filled with no talent and is just plain old boring. That is probably the worst thing about this film, on top of all the uninspired storytelling and the over the top acting found in it.. it is just plain old boring. The only thing that is mildly entertaining about it is the presence of James Spader who plays Ronnie Stover (the bad fellow of this flick.. who is involved with the revenge part of the film) who we now can encounter in “Boston Legal”. Yet, we find that the only reason why we are even provoked to care about that, is that we find familiarity with him. Were we to merely evaluate him on his performance, he gave us something a notch above awful.. and that says a lot because his performance was the best of the whole bunch.

The story explained in a simple way, is about a black sheep son named Richter Boudreau (played by Eric Stoltz) of a rich family from Tulsa. When he returns to the world that at one point he had renounced, he is forced into a blackmail scheme by his high school sweetheart’s menacing husband. A high school sweetheart that he is still not over.. you know plot thickens kind of stuff. At a certain point in the film, he then finds himself helping an eyewitness to a murder, but unfortunately he gets caught between a plot twist involving a web of revenge and according to the story redemption.

I say according to the story because most of the things involved with this film, is all based in assumption. The script takes too many leaps and jumps, hoping that you will just accept the “plot twist”. Twist, that does not surprise at all or thrills at all. Also, on top of the bad and boring acting, the pace of the story is slower than Molasses. The even greater frustration that the film brings is that after waiting and enduring through all of the horrendous aspects of the film, the ending is bland and a total disappointment. Not as if the beginning or middle gave any indication that their would be a fair ending but.. at least you give a film a chance. Sometimes, a movie can wow or satisfy in the end and at least you don’t find yourself with a feeling of a total loss.

Unfortunately, at the end of this film you do find your self with that unsatisfied feeling. A total disappointment. The actors did such an over the top performance that their southern accents seemed like they were playing Foghorn Leghorn the famous cartoon rooster, with the “Ah say.. son” coming out of every expression and that’s not even excluding the women. I like how one critic put it: “It’s like watching A Streetcar Named Desire with Bill Shatner playing every part”

The film is filled with an over abundance of nudity. Even that they got terribly wrong. It was an exercise in total awkwardness and just messy in a cinematic sense. The cover of this movie advertises that Cameron Diaz is in it (which she is.. playing Trudy) just don’t expect to see her any more than the five minutes she is on screen.

So if anyone every offers you the keys to tulsa, I suggest you kindly decline. It will be a great waste of your time and it will leave you with a stomach ache. (yup that bad) Plus, while James Spader gave a somewhat comedic Elvish performance (not the Frodo kind.. but the rock and roll one..) I would rather recommend movies like “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” and “Secretary”, for those actually have something worth while to offer.


People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *