xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
"Kiss of Death" is a hard-boiled crime movie featuring first-time leading man David Caruso, from TV's "NYPD Blue," opposite Nicholas Cage as the weirdest villain since Dennis Hopper slithered into "Blue Velvet." The direction is by Barbet Schroeder ("Reversal of Fortune"), the screenplay is by novelist Richard Price (Clockers), it's a loose remake of the 1947 movie where Richard Widmark pushed the wheelchair down the stairs, and with a pedigree like that it shouldn't be disjointed and uncompelling, but it is.
It's about professional car thieves in Queens. Caruso plays Jimmy Kilmartin, who used to be a drunk and a thief. Now that he and his wife have sobered up and started a family, he wants to stay on the straight and narrow.
But one night his cousin Ronnie comes pounding on the door, desperate, because he has a carrier of stolen cars and if he doesn't get someone to drive it the mob will kill him. Against his better judgment, Jimmy goes along, and gets caught in a bust that results in the shooting of a cop.
He ends up serving time, but won't rat on his friends, out of his own highly personal code, which seems glued together out of Mafia honor and his 12-step program. Meanwhile, everybody is betraying him, especially Ronnie, who gets the wife drunk and seduces her, setting up Jimmy's motive for a dangerous game of double-cross revenge.