Movie Details
Recommendation

Excess Baggage (1997)

 
 

Lightweight Script

Alicia Silverstone in Excess Baggage (1997)

There is a surprisingly diverse opinion from professional critics when it comes to "Excess Baggage" especially when it comes to the acting. Some say that Alicia Silverstone is good in it and co-stars Benicio Del Toro and Christopher Walken struggle to keep up whilst others think the complete opposite with Silverstone over shadowed by her co-stars. The truth is or at least my opinion is that each put in a good performance and if you like Silverstone you will enjoy her performance, if you like Del Toro then the same and so on. What is wrong with "Excess Baggage" is the writing because the basic idea of a spoilt brat staging her own kidnapping to be noticed but ending up with a car thief is entertaining but what happens and the humour is limp.

Emily (Alicia Silverstone - Batman & Robin) has a habit of staging stunts in order to get her father's attention and her latest one is to stage her own kidnap and ransom. And it was all going to plan till the car she was hiding in is stolen by Vincent (Benicio Del Toro - The Fan), a car thief who steals cars to order for Greg (Harry Connick Jr.) who in turn is involved with the mob. When Vincent finds Emily in the trunk he doesn't know what to do and things spiral out of control with them on the run as Emily's Uncle Ray (Christopher Walken - Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead), police and the mob all coming after them. And whilst initially Vincent and Emily don't get on their time together brings them surprisingly close.

Benicio Del Toro in Excess Baggage (1997)

When "Excess Baggage" starts we witness Emily staging the final part of her plan, she has caused her father to think she has been kidnapped and now all that is left is for the ransom to be paid and her to be found, that is until Vincent comes along and steals the car with her in the trunk. It is an amusing idea which whilst you can quickly assume that Vincent and Emily will end up getting romantic throws open some amusing possibilities especially when we have mob characters and also Christopher Walken as Uncle Ray, a Mr. Fix-It type character. Unfortunately what follows is just a lot of noise, arguments, aggravation and of course Emily and Vincent falling for each other as they spend time together. It doesn't really go anywhere as things expectedly become increasingly chaotic with very few of the intentional jokes really working.

So that brings me to the acting and in truth no one puts in a bad performance with Alicia Silverstone doing a nice job of the spoilt brat who wants her father's attention because you know under all the bad girl act Emily is really a nice girl wanting to be loved. Del Toro as Vincent delivers the best of the laughs with some enjoyable humour, making his character quirky and amusingly interesting whilst Christopher Walkern well he gives us a typically menacing Christopher Walkern performance. The only trouble is that with Emily and Vincent falling for each other the chemistry is non existent, oh they are amusing together but as a couple it doesn't work.

What this all boils down to is that "Excess Baggage" is one of those movies you watch because of a fondness for one of its stars and whilst you won't remember much about the movie the day after it isn't bad, it just could have been a whole lot better.

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