How many of these Inside the Hollywood back lot movies can we really have? Well—one more, just one more. I mean, when you look at it from different views, it’s only natural a person working in the Hollywood system attempting to work their way up would know the machine well; the grand rule of creating is to write what you know, but how many of these films can we really have, anymore? A group of odd filmmakers struggling to make it, making odd deals, potential crime dealings, getting in over their heads, oddball actors, shady producers, shadier financers, insane shooting conditions, wacky situations, perhaps a nude girl here or there.
I think I’ve covered it, and I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen the good (State and Main) and the bad (Get Shorty), and “Hat Trick” is somewhere in between. “Hat Trick” is a quasi-thriller semi-comedy about two filmmakers on the brink of creating one hell of a masterpiece, have now been entwined in a game of blackmail and murder with a ruthless mob boss. I’d have been pulled in from the very opening, had the story given us enough material to grab us with. Our two anti-heroes King and Jack have zero chemistry and are pure dipsticks attempting to evade this mobster and keep themselves from getting kidnapped, they never really seem to make the wisest choices in terms of escape.
The film can be occasionally entertaining with Mark Stoddard over doing it in many scenes coming off as less mob boss threatening, and more Colonel Klink threatening. The story really just doesn’t know how to garner interest, particularly with its hackneyed story and sloppy editing. In one of the more inept scenes, the guys discover the murder, take a picture, they’re chased across the city by the two murderers, and finally the boss declares: “Don’t worry, I know where they live”. Ah, well thanks for telling him after all that running around. “Hat Trick” then turns in to a heist film in the sense where Jack and King attempt to outdo Stoddard’s character and it ends on a surprise twist. Problem is, we’ve seen this all before. Nothing gained, nothing earned.