Jimmy (Andy Garcia) goes to work every day to help others. When a loved one is unwell and dying, they can leave multiple recorded messages with Jimmy (for a price) that can be replayed to family members after they have passed. It’s a good job, and it’s a job that keeps Jimmy focused and occupied, especially when compared to his past. You see, back in the day, Jimmy was also known as Jimmy the Saint and used to take orders from a powerful mob boss (Christopher Walken).
Nowadays, things for Jimmy are only getting better and better. While attending a local bar, he falls in love with a random stranger named Dagney (Gabrielle Anwar), who is instantly smitten by Jimmy’s charm and determination. While life for Jimmy couldn’t be better, things take a big turn when his former mob boss calls Jimmy in to do one more job. Jimmy assembles a team that consists of Franchise (William Forsythe), Pieces (Christopher Lloyd), Easy Wind (Bill Nunn) and Critical Bill (Treat Williams). When the job doesn’t go to plan, Jimmy and his team are hunted down one by one. Over the next forty-eight hours, Jimmy will attempt to make things right again.
Best described as a crime story, Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead has a lot going on. Firstly, the film includes many characters with Jimmy at the centre of it. There’s also a lot going on in this story. We witness Jimmy trying to lead a good life and falling in love, but we also witness Jimmy in an area of his life where he is at his absolute worst. Those who enjoy mob and gangster films will naturally benefit the most.
As far as performances go, I’m always a sucker for everything from Andy Garcia. Once again, the actor delivers what feels like a familiar yet enjoyable performance. He’s charming, determined, and delivers a character who shouldn’t be messed with. Despite this, Jimmy is also likable, especially because of his consideration for others, including his crew. One aspect of the film that didn’t interest me at all was the romance between Jimmy and Dagney. It not only felt forced, but it was obvious that this relationship was only going to offer more dramas for Jimmy. Actor Christopher Walken once again delivers a flawless performance and successfully brings a selfish character to life with a thirst for getting his own way all the time. The dialogue here is great and doesn’t disappoint or lack realism.
Overall, those who enjoy mob and gangster movies should certainly take note of this film. Still, thankfully, despite some predictable plot points, it manages to strike strongly with its unexpected finale. The large lineup of actors appearing throughout is surprising and pleasing, including Christopher Walken. He is excellent as a ruthless and evil mob boss. While lead actor Andy Garcia delivers another great performance, it feels slightly familiar at this point of the actor’s career. In the end, it’s certainly worth it, but certain subplots, including a romance among the leads, feel forced and only drags the film on far longer than I’d desired.