PUSHING TIN is topped by a quartet of dependable stars and is littered with funny moments but ultimately reveals a tin ear for plot and shoves acceptance of character behavior into the idea pit for the ridiculous finish. Critics applauded the cast, faulted the contrivances; audiences deteriorated, leaving it 133rd place in 1999, the $8,409,000 gross a major flop after an expenditure of $33,000,000. Mike Newell directed, the sitcom’y script was by brothers Glen & Les Charles.
At the air traffic control facility that handles the flood of flights in the New York City area, hotshot jet-juggler ‘Nick Falzone’ (John Cusack) finds his “zone” challenged by intense cowboyish newcomer ‘Russell Bell’ (Billy Bob Thornton), who is unconventional to say the least. Sharing the stress levels are their wives, seemingly secure ‘Connie Falzone’ (Cate Blanchett) and booze-basted ‘Mary Bell’ (Angelina Jolie). Something—and several someone’s—has to give.
Too much forced smart-aleck banter from the supporting characters and increasingly off-putting actions from Nick, Russell and Mary leave the who-cares? element up to Connie/Kate: Blanchett is great as ever, but the enterprise eventually gets just too preposterous.
With Jake Weber, Vicki Lewis, Kurt Fuller, John Carroll Lynch. 124 minutes.