15 Minutes

"15 Minutes" takes Andy Warhol's theory that everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes for its umpteenth screen ride. So when two Eastern European thugs, Emil (Karel Roden) and Oleg (Oleg Taktarov), visit Manhattan and go on a killing spree that Oleg records with a stolen camcorder, they are suddenly hot properties. Celebrity cop Eddie Flemming (Robert De Niro) — he's been on the cover of People — wants to nail them.

Eddie's crime-reporter girlfriend, Nicolette (Melina Kanakaredes), wants an exclusive. Robert Hawkins (Kelsey Grammer) will pay big time to get them on his tabloid TV show, "Top Story." Only arson investigator Jordy Warsaw (Edward Burns) wants to puke at all this media whoring, but he needs Eddie to help him nab the creeps. The movie — written and directed by John Herzfeld (2 Days in the Valley), an Emmy nominee for directing "HBO's Don King: Only in America" — is big, loud and lurid, but no less entertaining for that. It's fun to watch the notoriously press-shy De Niro preening for the cameras. He and Burns spar in style, but the film that contains them is long past its expiration date for freshness.

From The Archives Issue 241: June 16, 1977
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