2 Days in the Valley (1996) artwork

2 Days in the Valley (1996)

1st January 2000

Nothing seems to be going right. For Becky it is waking up next to her murdered ex-husband, for Teddy it is a failed film career, for Allan it is being kidnapped by an Italian hit man, for Lee it is letting the hit man get away, and for vice cops Wes and Alvin it's just another day in the valley and a murder is going to bring them all together.
Danny Aiello, Jeff Daniels, Teri Hatcher, Glenne Headly, Peter Horton, Marsha Mason, Paul Mazursky, James Spader, Eric Stoltz, Charlize Theron, Greg Cruttwell
Crime, Drama
1 Hour 45 Minutes

It's late at night and Becky is arguing with her ex-husband Roy at her home. They soon fall asleep, but unknown to them their every word has been listened to by hit men, Lee and Dosmo, who enter the house and shoot her ex-husband dead after injecting Becky with a sedative. Now things start to become so much more complicated. It turns out that Becky has hired some killers to kill Roy but one of the killers, Dosmo, has only been brought along to take to rap for the killing. Becky, Lee and Helga plan to split the proceeds between them but the money is in a safe at the house.

However Dosmo survives Lee's attempt to kill him. He falls down an embankment in to the back yard of art dealer, and dog lover, Allan who has just returned from hospital suffering from kidney stones. Dosmo takes Allan and Susan, his much put upon assistant, hostage so he can plan his getaway and revenge. However, he soon finds himself falling for Susan. Meanwhile, Becky has woken from her induced sleep and runs down the road meeting a couple of vice police on the way. One of the police, Wes, aims to be a homicide detective and gets involved with the case and inadvertently gets mixed up with the goings on.

Now, keep up with me here, down on his luck filmmaker Teddy is so depressed that he has decided to end it all. However, his love for his little dog forces him to find someone to take care of him. He finds Audrey a nurse, and sister of Allan, on her way to care for Allan. She decides to take Teddy to met Allan who she plans to give the dog to. Arriving at Allan's house they are also taken hostage until Dosmo can make his night time getaway. Teddy's death wish is evident as he try's to provoke Dosmo into shooting him, but sensing this Dosmo threatens Audrey instead causing him to calm down.

The picture quality is sharp and is so good you can appreciate the heat of the valley in the bright daylight scenes. The sound is good, with the music soundtrack taking centre stage. The dialogue is well separated through the centre speakers but the surround is hardly used. However, it is used well during the Becky and Helga fight scene - I was playing close attention then!

This film has a definite Pulp Fiction feel to it - or should it be the other way around? James Spader is great as one of the hit men and Danny Aiello is great as the dog fearing Dosmo and he gets plenty of laughs along the way. Jeff Daniels troubled Alvin is played well, but his character seems to get left to one side part way through the film. There's plenty of twists, too many to mention above, plus it would spoil the film to the uninitiated, but the cat fight between Becky and Helga is a nice highlight, and indeed it has serious consequences for the outcome of the film.

A classic in the making and well worth a viewing. Highly recommended.

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Cast Biography

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