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Film Review: Fifteen Minutes

De Niro seeks another 15 minutes of fame with a cinematic dud

'Fifteen minutes' is the appropriate name for Robert De Niro's latest effort because, apart from De Niro's fifteen minutes of screen time, there is little to redeem this moralistic tale of media, fame and crime.

Robert De Niro in '15 Minutes'Starting with the arrival of two Eastern European criminals into the United States, the director / writer John Herzfield then pretty soon proceeds to unforgivably squander the acting talent of Robert DeNiro, Edward Burns and Kelsey Krammer. Our bad guys head off on a brutal crime spree, filming each dastardly act, living their own American dream: seeking 15 minutes of fame. In pursuit is a media savy cop (De Niro) and his naive fire officer side kick (Burns). Along the way the media is following ready to exploit the story, chief among them the unscrupulous Krammer who'll do anything for ratings.

Here we are on territory covered more maturely and intelligently by films such as 'Natural Born Killers' and 'Mad City'. It all gets very messy with a pastiche of crude symbolism, love interest sub-plots and bombastic social commentary - all getting in the way of what could have been a good movie. The characters apart from De Niro's never rise above cartoon clich? and the film sinks under the weight of big ideas, unsupported by credible plot.

Marks out of ten? Three.

Kevin Smith


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