Don’t waste your time for Fifteen Minutes

On the outside, Fifteen Minutes looks like an action thriller with a great cast. But after watching the long-winded two-hour movie, you wished you never wasted the time in the first place.
Fifteen Minutes opens with Eastern Europeans Emil and Oleg coming to Manhattan in search of their share of a bank robbery that landed them in jail. They meet up with their former partner and his wife who have already spent their share and, in turn, beg for forgiveness. The less-than-amused Emil kills the couple while filmmaker wannabe Oleg videotapes the gruesome event. In an effort to conceal the crime, the pair torch the apartment building.
This leads New York’s most celebrated cop Eddie Flemming (played by Robert De Niro) to the scene as well as arson investigator Jody Warsaw (Edward Burns). Flemming then teams with Warsaw in a race with the killers to find the only witness to the double-murder.
For the first hour, Fifteen Minutes is one giant chase sequence that never ends as Emil and Oleg elude their pursuers at every turn and continue their reign of terror in New York. Oleg annoyingly follows Emil with his digital camera in order to make a ‘reality-based’ movie so the two can sell the film and become rich and famous.
Psychopath Emil believes that when he is caught he can avoid jail by pleading insane, after watching a tabloid show hosted by Robert Hawkins (played by Kelsey Grammer). Hawkins’ show Top Story is the typical sleazy program that Fifteen Minutes’ writer/director John Herzfeld wants to expose as the epitome of evil in America. Using this type of outlet, Emil continues his crime spree all the while believing he will get off because of America’s soft judicial system.
Herzfeld attempts to poke fun at these weak laws, as well as America’s obsession with celebrity, hence the title of the movie. Despite some good acting, the story line is predictable and leads you through waiting for something to jolt you. After it does, the movie continues on for another hour leaving the viewer dissatisfied and bored.
The movie takes a deep look at each character’s lust for celebrity and his direction plays right into their hands.
Ultimately, Fifteen Minutes will leave others wanting the same fame. So the two-hour ordeal misses its goal – to get us to stop watching these types of shows.
Fifteen Minutes is playing now.

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