2 Days In The Valley
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -3

The lives of 10 people are intertwined in this violent but pointless thriller set in California's San Fernando Valley. It begins with a contract murder, as has-been hitman Dosmo (Danny Aiello) joins younger assassin Lee (James Spader) on a job, only to discover he's being set up to take the blame. Dosmo escapes an exploding car intended to kill him, however, and seeks refuge at a fancy house. An obnoxious art dealer (Greg Cruttwell) and his loyal secretary (Glenne Headly) become his hostages, soon joined by the dealer's sister (Marsha Mason) and a suicidal writer/director (Paul Mazursky) she just met. Unaware that his plan has failed, Lee finds out that the money for his killing is still at the crime scene. Because Becky (Teri Hatcher), the victim's ex-wife, stumbled out of the house covered with blood and was discovered by two undercover vice cops (Jeff Daniels and Eric Stoltz), getting that money is a challenge with an investigation underway. The plot eventually comes full circle to bring everyone together, but 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY isn't particularly clever and wraps everything up too neatly. Stylish cinematography can't overcome the thin storyline, and it's very difficult to have sympathy for most of these characters.

Violence is ever-present in this movie, beginning with the initial murder and continuing through a climactic gun battle. Several shootings are accompanied by bloody wounds, including a headshot at close range. A brutal catfight between Becky and Lee's girlfriend Helga (Charlize Theron) ends violently. In a scene with some brief rear male nudity, Becky's ex-husband tries to force her to have sex. There's also an extended sex scene with Lee and Helga that includes breast nudity and sensual foreplay. The dialogue features persistent foul language, including 78 obscenities and a dozen regular profanities. With its concentration on foul-mouthed and violent characters, 2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY is a waste of two hours.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2500 Broadway St., Santa Monica, CA 90404-3061

Crude Language: Many (17) times - Mild 4, Moderate 13
Obscene Language: Many (78) times - F-word 51, s-word 18, other 9
Profanity: Many (18) times - Regular 12 (G 6, GD 2, J 1, C 1, JC 1, for God sakes 1), Exclamatory 6
Violence: Many times - Moderate, severe and gory (several shootings with bloody wounds, man shot in forehead at close range, picture of bloody corpse, blood-spattered murder scene, man punched, brutal fistfight between two women, car explodes, gun threats)
Sexual Intercourse: Implied once by sensual scene with nudity
Nudity: Few times (female breast nudity, male rear nudity, nude paintings); Near nudity - several times (see-through lingerie, woman wearing t-shirt and underwear)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Man forces himself on woman attempting to have sex, seductive massage, man appears aroused under towel, man fondles woman's breasts, passionate foreplay and kissing
Drug Abuse: Smoking, alcohol drinking
Other: Man considers suicide
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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