Back in Trouble | Chicago Reader

Back in Trouble

Andy Bausch wrote and directed this 1997 heist caper from Luxembourg, a bleak, fitfully comic sequel to his 1988 film The Troublemaker. Johnny Chicago, fresh out of jail but eager to score again, rounds up his old accomplices, but things go downhill for him—and us—after a parade of cliches meant to demonstrate his infatuation with American blues and gangsters. Bausch tries hard to copy Quentin Tarantino's blithe, loopy sense of anarchy and Aki Kaurismaki's down-and-out eccentricity, but he never quite captures the right ironic tone for what turns out to be a shaggy-dog tale. The film offers some engaging glimpses of life in Luxembourg's bilingual capital—far more engaging than the misadventures of Johnny, who's played by Thierry Van Werveke as a repository of surly tics and Mickey Rourke grunginess.

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