[Screen It]


(1997) (Kevin Corrigan, Michael Rapaport) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Heavy Minor Heavy None Heavy
Moderate None None None Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy Mild None Moderate Moderate

Drama: A young, unemployed man's "quest for truth" leads him into a world of drugs, small-time crime, and the woman of his dreams.
Redmond's (KEVIN CORRIGAN) life has been better. Not too quick on the uptake and now unemployed and evicted from his apartment, he's set out on his own "spiritual" quest for the meaning of life. Along the way he decides to crash with an old friend, Stretch (MICHAEL RAPAPORT), a slightly paranoid beer distributor who's involved in some small-time criminal activity. During his quest, Redmond also runs into his uncle, Sam (JAMES WOODS), and inadvertently gets caught up in his drug-related "business." After failing to deliver a packet of cocaine for his uncle, Redmond finds himself wanted by Sam's boss, Jack (BURT YOUNG). He also finds himself being pursued by Happy (LILI TAYLOR), his ex-girlfriend who won't accept the end of their relationship. Redmond, however, has his romantic sights set on Megan (LINDA FIORENTINO), a flight attendant he's just met whom he believes is his guardian angel. As Redmond makes his way through life like a wayward tumbleweed, he hopes to find "the truth" that he's been seeking.
It's not likely that many kids of any age will want to see this film.
For strong language, drug content, some sex and brief violence.
Considering the rampant profanity, drug use, obsessive behavior, casual sex, and criminal activity, few, if any, parents would consider any of the characters to be good role models.


OUR TAKE: 1 out of 10
Small, low budget films often have their work cut for themselves. Without a big budget or big name stars, they have to rely on smart writing, intriguing plots, and interesting, well-developed characters. Additionally, a tendency toward a weird, off beat story often helps make the film stand out from the crowd. Sometimes, though, such films go too far and come off as bizarre or just downright irritating. "Kicked in the Head," the latest small film trying to be the next "hip" feature, fails at the first part (the smart writing, etc...) and excels at the latter (the irritating quality), resulting in a horrible mess that's excruciating to sit through. It starts out okay with characters that show a little potential for being different and with what appears to be somewhat of an interesting plot. Yet it quickly falls prey to its obvious attempts at being cute and different. Many scenes are long, boring, and don't move the story forward as they try to exhibit "Tarantino-like" (as in Quentin of "Pulp Fiction") dialogue, but fail miserably.

Talented cast members like Woods and Fiorentino are completely wasted and Corrigan's performance is flat, listless, and fails to evoke any sympathy -- or for that matter, interest -- from the audience. The plot eventually boils down to Redmond's "wild adventures" as he mindlessly bops from one scene to another, but they, and the movie in general, are terribly constructed, boring, and a tremendous waste of everyone's time. A fellow critic at our press screening uttered a loud exclamation when the credits finally began to roll, and his obvious disbelief and irritation about what he had just witnessed was quickly agreed upon by everyone else. There's little reason to go on about this film, and so I'll end with an answer to the question concerning the film's title. "Kicked in the Head" refers to how you'll feel after seeing this film if you're foolish enough to sit all the way through it. You've been warned. This film gets a marginal 1 out of 10.

Parents and others will find many things to object to in this film. Profanity is rampant and includes more than 150 "f" and "s" words. Many of the characters snort cocaine, smoke pot, or drink copious amounts of alcohol. We see two sexual encounters, one of which shows quite a bit of movement, but neither shows explicit nudity. The main character, in addition to participating in the above, also doesn't believe in responsibilities or having a job, and thus is a horrible role model. Violence is limited for the most part to heavy amounts of gunfire, but what's troubling is the lighthearted way in which those scenes are played out. Additionally, despite the extremely close range at which the massive amounts of shots are fired, no one is hit, all of which might give impressionable kids the wrong ideas about playing with guns. While it's doubtful, though, that many kids will want to see this, we do suggest that you read through the listings to determine whether it's appropriate for them and/or for you.

  • Stretch tells Redmond the ground rules for staying with him that include, "No drugs...unless you share them with me."
  • Stretch and Redmond drink beer (and Stretch later admits that he has a drinking problem).
  • Redmond snorts cocaine off his finger tip and reacts to the drug.
  • People drink and smoke pot at Stretch's party and both he and Redmond also snort cocaine.
  • Stretch, Redmond, and others drink and smoke pot.
  • Redmond and Megan drink Scotch in an airport.
  • Megan drinks liquor from the little hotel sample bottles and pours some into Redmond's mouth.
  • Redmond, wanting Megan to like him, tries to overdose on a bottle of her pills (she gets him to throw up) to get her attention.
  • We see just a little bit of blood as harpoons impale a man in what may be a flashback or wishful daydream that Jack has.
  • Many viewers will see Redmond's behavior and beliefs (no responsibility or job -- and wanting neither) as having both types of attitude. Likewise, Sam has the same philosophy and he and others, including Stretch, are involved with small-time criminal activity.
  • Sam steals a car.
  • Some viewers may be offended by Redmond occasionally asking if there were people around before Adam & Eve. Also, they may dislike him using the term "spiritual quest" for his search for "the truth."
  • Jack's ex-girlfriend stalks him after they've broken up and evidently he's broken a promise to her.
  • Some men occasionally try to kill each other or Stretch.
  • Jack sends his thug to intimidate Redmond, who's kept a package of cocaine instead of delivering it to a buyer, and the thug abducts Happy to get Redmond to give up the goods.
  • None.
  • Handguns/Machine Guns: Used in several scenes where people shoot at each other with lethal intentions, but no one is ever hit. See "Violence" for more details.
  • Harpoons: Used to shoot a man in a flashback or a daydream.
  • Phrases: "Horny," "Deep do-do," "Douche douche," "Loser," "Creep," "Piss," "Pissed off," "Shut up," "Freak," "Bastard," and "Screwing" (non sexual).
  • Guns are used to shoot at others (including a drive-by shooting) and the lighthearted way in which this is presented and the fact that no one is injured or killed might give impressionable kids the wrong idea about guns.
  • Sam tosses his sandwich wrapper onto the sidewalk (littering).
  • Sam steals a car.
  • Redmond gives "the finger" to someone.
  • There's brief talk by one of Jack's thugs that he killed a man by setting his face on fire after spraying it with hair spray and we see a quick flashback of the man's head on fire.
  • Redmond, wanting Megan to like him, tries to overdose on a bottle of her pills (she gets him to throw up) to get her attention.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • At least 89 "f" words (4 used with "mother"), 65 "s" words, 18 slang terms for female genitals (the "p" word), 2 slang terms for male genitals (the "p" word), 15 asses (12 used with "hole"), 3 S.O.B.'s, 2 hells, 2 damns, and 2 uses each of "Jesus Christ" and "God," and 1 use each of "G-damn," "Oh God" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • Stretch's girlfriend talks about items in a sex shop including "dildos" and "anal beads."
  • A man who talks to Redmond tells him that all love is about is "p*ssy."
  • Redmond and Megan passionately kiss and she tells him, "I want to make love to you." They then have sex and we see movement as he's on top of her, and sounds are heard, but no nudity is seen.
  • Later, they have sex again, with her sitting on his lap. While there's movement, all we really see is a close up from their shoulders up. We later see Redmond in his underwear in bed after this.
  • Stretch's girlfriend comes on to Redmond, kissing him and caressing his body and tells him, "I want you to lick my p*ssy."
  • Sam smokes in several scenes, and we also see Jack and his thug smoking as well.
  • Megan and Redmond smoke in several scenes.
  • None.
  • Guns are used to shoot at others (including a drive-by shooting) and the lighthearted way in which this is presented and the fact that no one is injured or killed might give impressionable kids the wrong idea about guns.
  • Redmond, wanting Megan to like him, tries to overdose on a bottle of her pills (she gets him to throw up) to get her attention.
  • The fact that you can't go through life without a job.
  • Two men get into a gun battle in front of Redmond, but no one is hit.
  • A carload of men drive up and open fire on Stretch and Redmond with handguns and machine guns. Stretch fires back and eventually causes the men's car to explode (after they've fled).
  • A man is shot with harpoons in a brief scene that may be a flashback or a wishful daydream that Jack has.
  • Some men show up at Stretch's party and open fire with their guns. Stretch returns the shooting and drives them away, but no one is hit.
  • There's brief talk by one of Jack's thugs that he killed a man by setting his face on fire and we see a quick flashback of exactly that.
  • One of Jack's thugs presses his forearm into Redmond's throat, choking him.
  • Megan smacks Redmond as he puckers up for a kiss.
  • One of Jack's thugs grabs Happy and hauls her into his car.
  • A van hits Jack (his fate is not known).
  • Redmond slugs a man walking with Megan. That man then knocks Redmond to the ground.

  • Reviewed September 16, 1997

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