American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
"The Squeeze" is a non-movie held together only by the intrinsic appeal of Michael Keaton and Rae Dawn Chong, its stars. They are given nothing to work with here. Nothing. The screenplay, the direction and even the locations seem smudged and indistinct. This is the most completely forgettable movie since "Mannequin," a film it resembles in its lack of wit.
I like Chong and Keaton. Always have. They both possess strong personalities and personal styles that are fun to watch. And within half an hour, that's all I was doing in "The Squeeze": watching them. My mind had turned the film into a documentary about two talented actors in an idiotic screenplay, and I was able to focus my attention only by observing how they prevailed in one worthless scene after another.
The plot: Keaton is an artist who makes sculptures that have TV sets embedded in them. Chong works for a collection agency, tracking down deadbeats. Keaton owes money. Chong comes after him. They fall in love and stumble over a conspiracy to fix the New York State Lottery by using electromagnets to effect the fall of the little balls that have the numbers written on them.
Various other actors are distributed here and there in the movie, including John Davidson as the host of the lottery broadcasts and Meat Loaf as a mob enforcer. There is some nonsense about how an international conspiracy has been formed to rig the lottery, but so what. The lottery in this movie is only the MacGuffin, a term coined by Alfred Hitchcock to describe whatever it is that everybody in a movie thinks is important. "The Squeeze," alas, is all MacGuffin and no movie.
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