Matty (Barry Pepper) is the son of high-ranking mob boss Dennis Hopper, who's having trouble convincing the old man he's ready to step up and take a larger role in the organization. After a great deal of whining, Matty convinces Benny's second-in-command (John Malkovich) to give him a chance by making a cross-country money pickup. Matty hires cokehead Seth Green to fly out and retrieve the half-mill, but trouble ensues when Green lands to get gas in a podunk Montana town, and the money is stolen.
Realizing he's up poop creek without a paddle, Matty enlists hunky friends Vin Diesel and Andrew Davoli, and together they fly to Montana intent on getting their dough, and opening up a small-town can of whoop-ass. You can only imagine their surprise, then, upon discovering the local sheriff has the money, and is just as skilled in the ancient art of whoop-ass.
While this flick sure as shit ain't no Sopranos, it's nonetheless engaging in a trifling way. As Matty, Pepper has the dead-eye charm of a young Chris Walken, and Vin Diesel is convincing as the thuggish pal. However, believing Malkovich and Hopper as mob bosses? Give me a fuggin' break. "Sweatsuits and gold wrist bracelets do not a goombah make." The other problem is a lack of character development. While it's really fun to watch a bunch of New York wiseguys go nose to nose with tobacco-chewing hicks, this is a story about Matty's supposed growth from puss to Mafioso. Matty stays pretty much the same throughout, and therefore, the ending is a letdown.
Regardless, there's a few laughs, and the film has a nice pulpy feel. While Knockaround Guys may not be a great "fish out of water" story, at least it's fun watching the fish flop around for awhile.