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  • Quick Change
    • Quick Change
    • Runtime:89 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-22 23:22:08
    • Director: Howard Franklin
    • Genres: Comedy, Crime
    • Studio:


Without question one of my all-time favorite comedies. Bill Murray, via
this movie, Groundhog Day, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Scrooged, and
his superb work on SNL, is one of the best comedic actors of all time.
It's unfortunate that the film he got the most attention for was The
Life Aquatic, which I didn't enjoy at all). This film allows him to
show how great he really is. Murry, Davis and Quaid pull off a
brilliant bank robbery, then need to get out of New York City, and this
is where the fun begins. Stymied at every turn, the exit from the city
turns into a comedy of errors made even better by the brilliant casting
of Jason Robards as the detective on their tail and Tony Shalhoub as a
cabbie who speaks no English. I have seen the movie a dozen times and
still laugh throughout it. The scene in the grocery store and the mob
scenes are classic. A hilarious movie for all to enjoy, although it
does have some harsh language. If you enjoy this, watch Groundhog Day
and Ruthless People as well.


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Quick Change" comes a bureaucrat who is sick of urban life and dreams
of an escape with his girlfriend. Unlike most, he finds a way to put
his fantasies into action by robbing a bank. He has additional help
from a loyal child-like friend.

The "quick change" from their disguises in the bank might be the
reference in the title though there might be a deeper meaning about the
need to change on a personal level or how we do change. This is after
all part of the conflict — the lead's girlfriend is uncomfortable
about his apparent personality change as he appears to almost cruelly
go about escaping from the myriad of roadblocks put in front of them
(some pretty funny, other wryly so) while they try to escape the city.

The film suggests a certain love of the city since much of the humor is
based on various exaggerated expressions of "types" (like a bus driver
who strictly follows the rules to keep sane or a big city detective,
well played by Jason Robards — part of a good ensemble cast, about to
retire). It is also often low key, which some might not like, but I did
enjoy the film as a whole. And, Bill Murray is not so sure of himself,
so above the fray, that we don't see him as a real person.

Funny movie which New Yorkers might appreciate more.


I hadn't seen Quick Change since it was initially released to VHS in
the early 90′s, and I remember it was a funny flick with some funny
scenes and of course Bill Murray at his deadpan best. (Bill Murray and
Steve Martin are the 2 guys who I could watch make toast and somehow
think it hilarious. No-one currently making comedies has the same aura
to me.) After revisiting QC tonight I was stoked to realise that my
initial impressions were correct. In fact, most so called "comedies" of
the last 10 years might take a few tips from this little flick.

First the plot, then the kudos. Bill Murray is Grimm, a pretty smart
guy who hasn't really done anything with his life and who hates living
in New York so he decides to rob a bank of 1 MILLION
DOLLARS!(apparently a huge sum in the 80′s though it seems
insignificant now) and solve both problems.

As can be seen in the poster he dresses as a clown to pull the heist,
rightfully assuming that no-one would see past his makeup and outfit
when describing the events. After successfully completing the robbery
with minimal effort a slip up puts the cops on the trail, lead by Jason
Robards as the head cop desperate for a big collar, and Grimm his
girlfriend Phyllis and doofus mate Loomis spend the rest of the film
trying to escape New York.

What the film does so well is realise what it is and stay within the
limitations of the genre. At a tight 80 odd minutes in duration no time
is wasted introducing unnecessary plot points or characters, and every
character that appears in the film adds a little to proceedings,
especially the security guard who becomes increasingly brave each time
he recounts his take on the events.

The film doesn't try to solve any world issues and though the plot is
lightweight and the three fugitives find themselves in increasingly
absurd situations they never overstay or overplay a joke. In fact most
of the humour comes from Bill Murray's throwaway comments and some of
the 30 second dealings with random New Yorkers, most notably the
Hispanic bicycle jousters and the militant bus driver.

Geena Davis (inexplicably considered a sex symbol by some) as Phyllis,
the girlfriend with a secret, and Randy Quaid as Loomis do their best
when they stay out of Murray's way. In fact without Murray this flick
wouldn't be half as good as it is, he is at his sarcastic peak and it
is his interaction with bit characters and how he handles the various
inconveniences that make the film.

After a finale in which Grim has 1 minute and 45 seconds to make a
vital deadline (that takes about 6 minutes of screen time,) the credits
roll and I realised 2 things: current filmmakers overcomplicate things
and the title really doesn't make much sense.

Also Bill Murray rocked the 80s.

Final Rating 8/10. Definitely worth a look if you can find it at the
Video shop.

If you liked this (or even if you didn't) try oneguyrambling.com


Take Dog Day Afternoon, blend it in with Scorsese's After Hours, and
don't forget that it's really about Bill Murray, Geena Davis and Randy
Quaid as non-professional criminals who pull off a goof of a bank
robbery and intend to escape to the airport, and you might get an idea
of what Quick Change is about. It announces itself in the opening 20
minutes as a comedy to take seriously, as we follow along what looks to
be an average circus clown around town, and he stops at a bank… and
then proceeds to hold it up and do the hostage/demand thing. But it's
Bill Murray, and he has that attitude you might usually see him in in a
movie even if it's only for a minute: hey, I'm here, again, on camera,
oh man, this is going to be another day in it. He has that great
self-effacing attitude, dead-pan but very aware, and it comes through
brilliantly as he balances between comedy and drama in the opening
scenes (drama, as in a crying Randy Quaid and talk-back Geena David,
who happen to actually be Murray's character's partners in crime).

Quick Change is a dark comedy in a very rich form; it takes its aim not
just at bank robbers and the cops who go after them (specifically the
hard-nosed detective, here casted perfectly with Jason Robards), but
also New York in the late 80s, its see-saw of really hazardous grounds
among Queens and Brooklyn and the "plans" for urban renewal. Not to
mention the characters who just pop up for a scene here or a scene
there, almost like a trip to hell where there's a stop-off every few
minutes or so, sometimes with a car thief, a cab driver with no English
(Tony Shalhoub), a bus driver described at one point as Ralph Kramden's
evil-twin, and of course the mob. It is parody, but it's never spoken
outright or made directly like in Hot Shots or Naked Gun. It's Bill
Murray doing smart comedy that relies on wits and edge, so that even as
the screenplay makes fun of the tropes of heist movies it doesn't lose
its own voice.

And, thankfully as well, Davis and Quaid are totally game for the
production, and if I may say so Davis is a good here and convincing as
a reluctant 'squeeze' of Murray's bank robber (who, by the way, feels
"complete" now that he's pulled of the job) as she was in Thelma and
Louise. Quaid, too, has his share of laughs, even if he may be saddled
more than anyone with physical pratfalls and the 'damage-to-his-body'
jokes that are sometimes riotous (the jump from the cab and slam into
the newsstand) and sometimes not (the running 'joke' of his freak-outs
at little things, a super neurotic). But very often the chances for
comedy are taken on, and they're risky ones, like when Murray rips off
the gangsters as a means to just slip out of the place he and his
co-horts literally stumbled into. And there is something unique to the
film by having Murray co-direct it; one can feel his stamp more than
anyone, and it's good thing since he knows how to take the story
forward while not losing sight of moments of great observation- of
character and landscape- and of the plot itself, which comes to a great
big twist when they finally make it to the airport. Only Kubrick's the
Killing has a better climax as a heist movie at an airport.

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