I’m left with the overwhelming impression that some studio executive had this great idea for a film title, and commissioned a script based on it. Enterprising screenwriter (Richard Price) has an interesting little script at the ready about a police photographer who saves the life of a mobster. Screenwriter figures that he can make a fast buck if he gives the main character the nickname “Mad Dog” (he’s an overweight, mild-mannered guy with the soul of an artist, but hey, it’s ironic!), and changes the name of the cocktail waitress to “Glory”. Ka-ching!
Goodness knows that the quality of a title is no indicator of the film it belongs to, but this one just bothers me. It’s such a good title, that the sheer indifference of the film sticks in my throat. De Niro and Murray are both flat, and Uma Thurman is plain annoying as the pitiful innocent who has fallen in with a bad crowd. There’s a subtle twist right at the end that casts the plot and Murray’s character in a new light, but it’s so underplayed that you could blink and miss it. This ought to have been so much better.