Thursday 18 February 2010

Icon #42 The Usual Suspects

Today's theme was the most iconic movie twist ever and to say this was hard to decide would be an understatement.  Kudos to Toby because that's two weeks in a row where he's picked a great theme.  But Christ there are just so many to choose from.  Worth mentioning are, The Empire Strikes Back (so hard to not pick it), Seven and Fight Club, Sixth Sense and Unbreakable.  All movies I love all movies that could have easily won this week.

But in the end there has to be a winner... (spoiler alert!)  Seriously if you haven't seen it, dig it out and watch it but for Christ sake don't press 'read more' until you have.

You never see it coming.  

For me it was one of the few moments where my jaw dropped watching a film.  That walk along the street as Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey)'s limp suddenly disappears, his cerebral palsy afflicted hands straighten, and he gets into that car to be driven away by Mr Kobayashi (Pete Postlethwaite).  The frantic detective realising his error as he scans the room, suddenly seeing what Kint/Söze has seen, the objects in the room that have formed his story.  As he races out of the office we see a fax come through of what Söze looks like and as the camera passes we see an artists impression of Kint's face.

The thing is you think the film has already unravelled it's story.  That there isn't anything left to tell of this group of hired criminals who think they're destroying drugs of a rival to Söze and splitting millions between them.  That Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne) is Keyser Soze and he's faked his own death.  Sure you have questions about who that is on the boat with Keaton at the end, but you don't think it's Kint.  

The whole movie builds Söze up and up as some sort of twisted criminal genius, it never enters your head that Kint could possibly be this mythical one man army.  Spacey plays the character to perfection and the performance certainly helps to suck you into the twist.  It's also a bloody good film with a great ensemble cast  smartly directed by Bryan Singer.

Kint is a great creation, bordering on crippled, a million miles away from what you expect Söze to be.  Keaton feels so much more suitable and yet throughout the film you sense the fear building about this criminal myth that is Söze.

That end sequence is one of my favourite of all time.  The best twist ever.  

'And like that he was gone' - Keyser Söze

Tonight's post is dedicated to @ObOrion, @D_Forbes, @Hhhmmm, @emmabunce, @DavieLegend, @fionaflaherty, @SisterLedge, @moviegrrl, @flashmcglash81 @twosoups and @lmlc.  

For those of you who thought I'd pick Empire, here's why I didn't:  The prequels spoil the twist.  It isn't a twist any more.  Lucas is a dick.


  1. Nice pick. No, I'm not saying that because it was my vote too but for all the reasons you noted so well and for why Empire no longer qualifies.