The Squeeze - Ice Block Quickie

Overly Reductive Plot Summary

Harry Berg (Michael Keaton) plays a down-on-his-luck con-artist/installation artist (I know... another one of those stories) who gets wrapped up in a whirlwind plot involving murder, Bulgarians, military-grade electro-magnets, lottery rigging and an equally down-on-her-luck detective Rachel Dobs (Rae Dawn Chong). These elements just ping off each other, bouncing in random directions until the film runs out of things to do, at which point a riot breaks out on an aircraft carrier.

Significant For...

Being a movie with Michael Keaton in the lead role.

Insignificant For...

Being a film that involves murder, spies, seedy goons, chases, explosions, pulsing 80's synth, shredding guitars and Michael Keaton, yet somehow still feels like it's sleepwalking.

The Entire Film In 3 Images

Elements Of The Film (Ranked On A Buzzed Out 80's Scale of 1 to 5)

  1. The Squeeze features a scene that supports our Ice Block House Theory that in the 80's all one needed to do was splash someone with water to defeat them. Two goons are chasing Harry and, when he jumps in The East River, they just smirk and walk away confident that their work of capturing him is essentially complete as Harry swims away.
  2. Most of the jokes seem to have been added in post as they're delivered over wide shots or b-roll. Sometimes, less is more.
  3. Michael Keaton says "Come on!" a lot in this film. For real. It's way more than one would expect.
  4. The Squeeze features the single-creepiest last words in the history of cinema. After being stabbed through the heart with a statue of The Empire State Building (spoiler alert), the dying goon looks at Rachel and says, "I could have loved you." Ice cold.
  5. Good golly, that soundtrack is pumping! I don't know what was happening with music in the 80's, but it was out of control.

Final Verdict

Movies were weird in the 80's. Maybe they were always weird, but it seems like they got really really weird in the 80's. This one is as weird as they come.

The plot is all over the map, a map ripe with spectacle yet strangely free from any excitement.