Worthy but flawed
It's at least 20 years since I last saw this one, way before I started tracking films I watched. I remembered it as a solid flick, but was in no real hurry to see it again, as I've since lost my interest in these types of elongated crime stories. It's certainly not as bad as some others, but it's not all that special either.
Four kids grow up in Hell's Kitchen, a notorious neighborhood in New York. They're rascals who scour the edge of the law, until one fated day they steal a hot dog cart and nearly kill a man doing so. They're all sent to a correctional facility, where they are severely mistreated by the guards.
2.5 hours is a lot, then again the film covers a lot of ground. Performances are decent, and somehow I do like Levinson a tad more than most of his Hollywood contemporaries, even though his directorial style isn't all that defined. The plot is pretty standard though and the film has few surprises, nor does it dare to get very graphic. Just decent.
There's this niche of 80s comedies, about angry middle-aged folk who are downright assholes and have the most fun trying to make each other's lives as miserable as possible. I can't say it's really my kind of comedy, but as they come, Tin Men certainly isn't the worst of the bunch.
When Bill and Ernest get into a little bender fender, a feud of epic proportions begins. Both men are grumpy loudmouths and neither is going to admit he was at fault. And so they start scheming, coming up with plans to make the other party admit his mistake. Neither one is willing to back down though.
Danny DeVito seems to be popping up in many of these comedies, in Richard Dreyfuss he finds a worthy opponent. The bickering often goes on too long and the film never becomes hilarious, but the pacing is decent enough and there are some minor laughs spread throughout. Wouldn't really recommend it, unless you really like this type of thing.
I think I've seen this film before as a kid, but that was so long ago that I can't remember for sure. I'm not a big Robin Williams fan though, which explains why it took me so long to give this another go. And sure enough, Williams' performance here is exactly why I can't really stand his work.
When Leland, an army general, inherits the toy factory of the Presswells, his cousin Leslie fears that he has different plans for the factory. When Leslie discovers Leland is using factory resources for military R&D, he bands together with the factory employees to brings Leland's plans to the surface.
Levinson has some fun bringing the factory to life, but he's no Burton. Still, the creative sets are the sole reason Toys isn't a complete failure. Williams' performance is irritating, the soundtrack is overly bombastic, and the comedy is simply horrendous. At just over two hours, it's also ridiculously long. Not great.