Albino Alligator (1996)
In Kevin Spacey's directorial debut, three petty criminals (Matt Dillon, Gary Sinise and William Fichtner) are mistaken for a high-value suspect, and find themselves taking shelter in a New Orleans cellar bar with no back exit where they take the odd bunch of customers hostage while the police set up shop outside. This is a gritty crime-story with no fancy solutions, and this creates a good foundation for some stern realism which is halfway well explored by Spacey. Situational drama like this, in which we know everything about who and where, but little about why and how, often makes for great suspense and interesting character development, but even though Spacey creates some of the former, the screenplay by Christian Forte is surprisingly weak on the latter. In the end, there are simply too many questions left unasked and unanswered, and the final act of the film is unsatisfactory. Viggo Mortensen's enigmatic Guy Foucard character is the best example of unused potential. The impressive cast give decent performances, even though you cannot help but expect more from them.