Kicked in the Head

on September 26, 1997 by Lael Loewenstein
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   With an overabundance of self-consciously random action and dialogue, "Kicked in the Head" leaves the viewer feeling just that: assaulted. Not even its stellar cast or its Martin Scorsese (who executive produces) pedigree can redeem this tale of lower Manhattan loser named Redmond (Kevin Corrigan) who embarks on a series of misadventures. (Then again, Scorsese did produce "Search and Destroy," a similarly misguided and overdone effort, also for distributor October.)
   Over a frenetic four-day stretch, Redmond fends off his obsessed ex-girlfriend ("I Shot Andy Warhol's" Lili Taylor) and nutty Uncle Sam (James Woods), romances a fiesty flight attendant (Linda Fiorentino), dodges his slippery friend Stretch ("Metro's" Michael Rapaport) and narrowly avoids a subway shootout. He also waxes philosophical on the Hindenburg crash, prophetic fortune cookies and "Planet of the Apes."
   What it all means is anybody's guess. Corrigan can play hapless loser better than anyone (as attested by his videostore-geek turn in "Walking and Talking"), but he fails to bring much sparkle to the proceedings. Ditto Fiorentino, playing yet another ice queen. On the positive side, Woods, at least, is memorably wacky, and the camera work by directors of photography John Thomas ("Metropolitan") and Howard Krupa is impressively sharp. Alas, not nearly sharp enough to save the film.    Starring Kevin Corrigan, Linda Fiorentino and James Woods. Directed by Matthew Harrison. Written by Kevin Corrigan and Matthew Harrison. Produced by Barbara De Fina. An October Films release. Comedy. Rated R for strong language, drug content, some sex and brief violence. Running time: 87 min. Screened at Cannes.
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