Chicago Overcoat (2009) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Independently produced gangster picture ‘Chicago Overcoat‘ is an outstanding genre exercise layered with impressive performances, atmospheric cinematography and crisp direction by new-comer Brian Caunter. The story by Caunter and fellow writers John W. Bosher, Josh Staman, and Andrew Alex Dowd is a pleasing revenge tale about an aging, cash strapped low level hood’s comeback. Veteran actor Frank Vincent is outstanding as Lou, a Chicago hit-man in the twilight of his career. Overlooked and burnt-out Lou begins looking for one last score before retiring to Las Vegas.

When a mafioso capo (Armand Assante) puts out a contract for the death of three witnesses before the government can bring him to trial. Lou sees this as his chance to finance his retirement and leave Chicago with his girlfriend (Kathrine Narducci). Hot on his trail is a detective with his own motivations for capturing the elusive hood.

There is a certain joy in seeing ‘Sopranos’ vets Vincent and Narducci verbally sparring as a couple that may have had a chance at happiness years ago. The script is littered with small moments that hum such as Vincent’s response to a colleague suggesting retirement in Florida. “Fuck Florida” is the response and Vincent delivers the line with precisely the right amount of menace and humor. A slam-bang finale in which Lou goes to work on his ex-cohorts with a Tommy-Gun (or Chicago Typewriter) is great fun and well shot by cinematographer Kevin Moss. ‘Overcoat’ is a beautifully realized world with vivid characters chock full of symbolism and irony all wrapped up in a compelling told story.

Director: Brian Caunter
Stars: Frank Vincent, Kathrine Narducci, Mike Starr

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