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Rated 2.93 stars
by 259 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Private Eye Romp
by Betty Jo Tucker

Sometimes a movie tickles your funny bone and makes you chuckle for a long time after watching it. And it might even be a film that evokes quite a different feeling among other viewers. Cabin Boy, Iím talking about you. Once Upon a Time in Venice is also one of those flicks. Movies are so personal to all of us, for sure. Thatís why I donít understand how people can fight over their reactions to a particular film. A spirited discussion, yes. But heated argument or banishment from friendship? Not cool.

Okay. Thatís off my chest now.

Back to Once Upon a Time in Venice -- an action comedy starring Bruce Willis as a beleaguered private investigator in Venice, California. I still canít stop smiling and thinking about the unusual and entertaining performances of Willis, John Goodman and Jason Momoa.  

More about Willis later. First, I want to declare that Goodman, as Willisí best friend, makes this character the saddest man Iíve ever seen on screen. His beautiful wife is divorcing him, so heís down in the dumps in practically every one of his scenes. He almost breaks your heart, but thereís also humor in his interactions with others, especially with Willis. However, Momoa is the BIG surprise. What a treat to see this giant of a man playing a tough gang leader who just might have a heart!            

And that brings us to Willis. (Full disclosure: I am a fan.) His performance motivated me to write the following poem.  

Once Upon a Time in Venice

boasts something new and not to miss.

A private eye? Well, new thatís not.

But Bruce Willis gives all heís got.

He even skateboards without clothes.

while fending off some ugly blows.

And more than that, itís fun to see

Bruce work hard finding his doggie

Various bad guys he does meet.

Will he be able them to beat?

Stereotypes abound, too bad.

Toned down, this film could be more rad.

Itís filled with action, laughs and such.

So I enjoyed it very much!

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. --- Will Rogers

(Released by RLJ Entertainment. Not rated by MPAA, but my inner Church Lady gives it an ďRĒ for violence, sexual situations, language and nudity.)

For more information about Once Upon a Time in Venice, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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