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A movie directed by David Stevens

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Kansas - 1988

  • Jun 3, 2011
Pros: it was under 2 hours long

Cons: boring

The Bottom Line:
"Well I might take a train
I might take a plane, but if I have to walk
I'm gonna get there just the same
I'm going to Kansas City"
~Leiber; Stoller

You know that trip I'm talking about.   The one where you load your preschoolers in the car and tell them you are going to DisneyWorld.   Problem is, you live in Maine and you aren't an hour into the l-o-n-g trip before the "Are we there yet?" questions start.   You know, THAT trip.   That's how I felt about 15 minutes into the movie Kansas and I started my own "Are we there yet?" questions.  This movie was about as exciting as having your legs waxed.   It was directed by David Stevens, written by Spencer Eastman.  No awards, not even a nomination and an R rating.  Why, I don't know.  It was about as bland as 1% milk.

The story:
On the way to New York, to be best man in his friend's wedding, Wade's car breaks down.   To compensate for that, he hops a freight train as it passes through Kansas.  Wade is about as likely to be a rail-rider as I am to pitch the winning game in the World Series.  Already on the train is Doyle, who looks totally at home shagging a ride on a freight train.

Somehow, obviously Wade is easily manipulated, Doyle convinces Wade to stop at a small town where Doyle grew up.   Doyle tells him they will be warmly received but Doyle is a bit devious.  He knows this particular day is the day of a town celebration, full out parade and all, and all the homes around town will not only be empty but also open and available to plunder.

But a small town home robbery isn't big enough for Doyle and Wade finds himself fully immersed in a bank robbery.  As the governor's car departs the parade procession something goes wrong and it careens off the bridge, dumping the car in the river.   The only inhabitants of the car are the driver and the governor's small daughter.  Wade and Doyle have split up by this time and somehow Wade has all the money from the bank robbery.  He is also at the bridge when the car plummets into the river and he saves the small girl and is caught on film by a passing journalist.

Of course he can't afford to be recognized, because of the robbery, so he makes a stealth get-away while everyone is tending the young child.   Now both he and Doyle are being sought, but for different reasons.

I don't know exactly what happened to Wade's plans for the trip to New York because he hires on as a farm hand and tries to make nice with the farmer's daughter.   Much like the rail-riding, Wade is an unlikely employee on a farm.   Doyle, on the other hand, starts working as an employee at a passing fair as a ride operator, while he continues to try and locate Wade and the cache of stolen money. 

A chance encounter at the fairgrounds brings them together again and the story stumbles along at a snails pace.

The actors:
Matt Dillon plays the part of Doyle.  It is typical Dillon; cocky, risky, rolled up shirt sleeves and a smirky face.    You could get more opposite than Andrew McCarthy as Wade.  He's like 12 years old in this and just exudes cuteness and boy-next-door.  Kyra Sedgwick, almost impossibly young, has a small role as Doyle's prostitute girlfriend. 

DVD extras:

Overall impression:
I'd rather spend two hours filing my nails than watch this film again.



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June 04, 2011
just coming back to say again, Susi... =)
June 05, 2011
ah, the ight stalker. thanks "}
About the reviewer
Susi Dawson ()
Ranked #80
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About this movie


Wade (Andrew McCarthy), a young travelling man, becomes an unwilling partner in crime when his tough new friend Doyle (Matt Dillon) involves him in an impromptu bank heist. After hiding the loot and escaping into anonymity, he realizes his trouble is just beginning when the real criminal returns for the money.
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Cast: Leslie Hope
Director: David Stevens
Release Date: 1988
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (October 02, 2001)
Runtime: 1hr 51min
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"Kansas - 1988"
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