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The impostors

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Now the time has come... to act.

In an attempt to stave off hunger, a couple of washed up deadbeat actors (Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt) put their skills to the ultimate test when they boarded a dreaded ocean liner as passengers to avert catastrophe and capture from police. Aboard this liner, the two actors use their undercover acting skills and change themselves into different characters to avoid further capture. With the help of an irrepressible head stewardess, they find themselves caught up in a crazy world of ingenues and intrigue. The two actors have to out-perform many of the other posers and pretenders aboard in an attempt to save the sinking ship. Will these wannabe actors be able to save the day as dramatic heroes?

Theatrical propaganda posters

The impostors image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film comedy actor mistaken identity ocean liner murder crime theatre

Persons of interest

  • Oliver Platt .... Maurice
  • Stanley Tucci .... Arthur
  • Walker Jones .... Maitre d'
  • E Katherine Kerr .... Gertrude in Hamlet
  • George Guidall .... Claudius in Hamlet
  • William Hill .... Bernardo in Hamlet
  • Alfred Molina .... Sir Jeremy Burtom
  • Matt Malloy .... Mike/Laertes in Hamlet
  • Ted Blumberg .... Francisco in Hamlet
  • Lili Taylor .... Lily "Lil"
  • Tony Shalhoub .... Voltri
  • Teagle F Bougere .... Sheik
  • Elizabeth Bracco .... Pancetta Leaky
  • Steve Buscemi .... Happy "Hap" Franks
  • Allison Janney .... Maxine "Maxi"
  • Stanley Tucci .... Screenwriter
  • Stanley Tucci .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Now I began having big problems when I started watching this flick. Not because it's bad, but because I felt sure I'd seen it before.

As it turns out I probably have (must have!) but for some reason (probably because I wasn't sent any production notes by the distributor) never wrote a review. So for the whole thing he had this huge déjà vu, and that's weird enough for a moment let alone an entire feature film.

Anyhow, The Impostors is one for those who enjoy the theatre. It's about two talentless actors in New York who can find fault with everything but themselves: their ego outweighs their ability. They are also destined to spend their entire lives together because they are so co-dependant that no-one else would have them.

The rest of this comedy follows on from there: mishaps, mistaken identities, motives, madness and mayhem. [Love that alliteration - Director of Intelligence] And being a American film, there is also zaniness, which is a word of fear and terror to my ears. It wasn't bad enough that they gave the world McDonald's, rednecks and nuclear weapons that they had to inflict zaniness on us as well?


The impostors is not as zany as, say, Dumb and dumber, but there is something missing that an English or an Australian production would never leave out: darkness! Americans have this infatuation with airy fairy light froth bubble happy ending crap. Perhaps why they don't get irony (one of the most important words in the English language).

I am off the track again; perhaps I should take some more medication. Just a moment...

Back again. Where was I? Oh yes... irony.

The impostors does try to be ironic (it is, after all, a piss-take of wanky actors) but falls into the trap of going for laughs over biting comment, so while it's quite funny, it's also a tad obnoxious. You know how Americans are.

Oliver Platt and Stanley Tucci play dumb Yanks with unfortunate ease. I would blame it on the script but since Stanley wrote it, that's not an option. Maybe they are just dumb Yank actors? I haven't particularly liked Stanley in anything he's done and don't remember Oliver from anything he's done, which kind of says something, doesn't it?

How long is this review?

Too long! In a nutshell, The impostors is a relatively funny look at actors, ocean liners, cruise directors and other wacky, zany characters. Watch it if that sounds like you.

Security censorship classification

M (Low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

100 minutes (1:40 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental: 14 July 1999

Cinema surveillance images

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