May 19, 1997 12:00 PM

Denis Leary, Joe Mantegna, Larry Bishop

Writer-star Bishop has taken the dark atmospherics, elaborate plot and mysterious criminal kingpin of The Usual Suspects and made things even murkier by stirring in heavy-handed psychology. Let me put this in plain English: I didn’t get it. Leary plays a hood, newly sprung from prison and, strangely, from analysis. He is out to avenge his gangster father, brain-dead after an attempted rubout. The most likely culprits are rival hoods Mantegna (for story, see page 193), who coincidentally doesn’t speak with his gangland father, and Bishop, who gives the film’s one good performance and claims to have murdered his dad. The fact that Bishop is the real-life son of comedian Joey Bishop makes one wonder what’s up with this awful patricidal fantasy. (R)

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