|Fig 1 - The Usual Suspects Poster|
Essentially, the plot boils down to the retelling of a boat heist by one of the only known survivors, named Verbal (Kevin Spacey). He tells the police of how he and four other criminals were brought together for an identity parade six weeks prior, where they decided to plan a jewel heist on a private taxi company. Following this, a man by the name of Kobayashi (Pete Postlethwaite) confronts the group as the representative of a mysterious "Keyser Soze". He tells them how their actions have previously harmed Soze's business and blackmails them into carrying out a boat heist after revealing documents of their true identities. It then becomes clear that "the devil himself" has infiltrated the group, leaving only one question - who is Keyser Soze?
|Fig 2 - The Usual Suspects - Verbal|
Overall, I think The Usual Suspects shouldn't have to require a second viewing to appreciate, but it does. It's reliance on narration is telling of the confusing narrative on which it relies (and basically could have been trimmed). The structure and inevitable reveal are creative enough in their unfolding, however it lacks the common-man element of films like Resevoir Dogs (1992) and became a frustrating slug by the end of my first viewing. It may not be Tarantino, but it sure as hell takes itself too seriously.
Fig. 1 The Usual Suspects Poster (1995) From: The Usual Suspects - Directed by: Bryan Singer
Fig. 2 The Usual Suspects Screenshot (1995) From: The Usual Suspects - Directed by: Bryan Singer