Early on in the film, Bill Murray's character, Grimm (a self-reflective nod to his character’s attitude towards the city) remarks, "God, I hate this town." It is an often repeated line that nicely establishes the scornful tone of the film that begins when
The first third of Quick Change — the bank heist — is the best part of the film. It is a brilliant starting point that demonstrates Bill Murray at his smart-ass best. He gleefully fools and infuriates both the cops, the media, and even the hostages with his flippant attitude. His disposition is understandable when juxtaposed with the media circus that occurs outside the bank. Curiosity seekers and the media, smelling a potential story, flock to the scene. Even hot dog vendors race each other for the best vantage point to hock their wares. Everybody is looking to exploit the situation in some fashion and this makes the desire for Grimm, Phylis and Loomis to succeed all the more significant.
However, for all the comic ingenuousness of the opening scene, Quick Change begins to slowly unravel as the trio attempt to leave
There's such a sense of incompleteness about a movie: You feel it as an actor delivering funny lines, and you feel it especially as a director: You tell the joke in June of 1988, and you have to wait two years to get the laugh. It's 1990, and I'm still waiting for the laugh.
This feeling is what may have motivated
Where his contemporaries like Steve Martin and Chevy Chase have softened their edge over time (see Father of the Bride and Cops and Robbersons respectively),
The rest of the cast supports
The constant supply of comical cameos keeps the rest of the film watchable. The always entertaining Phil Hartman appears as an anxiety-ridden Yuppie who holds the trio at gunpoint when he mistakenly thinks that they are breaking into his new apartment. The scene is a great battle of talents as he and Murray square off against each other. Tony Shalhoub makes an appearance as a hopelessly incoherent foreign taxi cab driver who delays the robbers from escaping the city. Shalhoub demonstrated once again that his comedic talents were being wasted on the Wings TV show and that his strengths lie in role like this one and his performance as a jaded
Bill Murray had high hopes for Quick Change. As he said in an interview, "everyone will enjoy this movie. But New Yorkers will enjoy it especially because they know how bad their city really is." Sadly, the film disappeared rather quickly upon its release. Perhaps its cynical view of
Here's the trailer: