Film and Plot Synopsis
The Usual Suspects opens with a blood bath at a dock in San Pedro Bay. Only two men survive, a Hungarian mobster hospitalized with severe burns and a con artist with cerebral palsy named “Verbal” Kint. Kint tells the police that he and four other criminals were pulled together in New York for line-up a few weeks before. The cop turned criminal Dean Keaton, the trigger happy Michael McManus, the hot-headed Todd Hockney, and the unintelligible Fred Fenster.
The group is ultimately released after the line-up, but decide to get their revenge against the NYPD by robbing some dirty cops of some precious jewels and publicly exposing the law enforcement corruption. The gang takes the jewelry to California where they are contacted by a mysterious attorney who has a specific request of them. They must shoot their way onto a ship in San Pedro Bay, kill a gang of Argentinian drug dealers, and destroy $91 million worth of cocaine. The attorney assures them that they will not all survive, but those that do will be rich. If they choose not to except the job, the attorney’s employer, the mysterious underworld figure/legend Keyser Söze will have them each killed for the slights that they have individually made against Söze’s business interests.
In Kint’s account of the events, each man reacts differently to the threat and the job. But ultimately, most of the group takes on the suicide mission, leading to the ultimate conclusion of the film. Who is Keyser Söze? Is he a ghost story being used to pull the stings of our criminals? Or is he the truly sophisticated criminal mind that is reported in legend? And is one of the crew actually Keyser Söze? Possibly the burned Hungarian mobster lying in the hospital will have a clue to the mastermind’s true identity. All is answered by the end of Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects.
‘The Usual Suspects’ Movie Summary
With Kint under arrest, he gives his account to Agent Kujan on how he and four other criminals were pulled together in New York for a line-up a few weeks before. It consisted of: a cop turned criminal Dean Keaton, the trigger happy Michael McManus, the hot-headed Todd Hockney, and the unintelligible Fred Fenster.
The group is ultimately released after the line-up, but they decide to get their revenge against the NYPD. They rob some dirty cops of some precious jewels, and then publicly expose the law enforcement’s corruption.
The gang takes the jewelry to California where a mysterious attorney named Kobayashi contacts them with a specific request. He’s the one who got them arrested in New York. His employer, the mysterious Turkish crime lord Keyser Söze has ordered them to raid an Argentinian drug dealer’s ship, and destroy $91 million worth of cocaine on board.
Kobayashi assures them that they will not all survive, but those that do will be rich. If they choose not to except the job, Keyser Söze will kill them for the slights that they have individually made against his business interests.
Agent Kujan’s investigation continues, and Kint reveals that there was no cocaine on the ship. He also says that Söze was on board. He then describes the legend of how Söze murdered his own family when Hungarian mobsters held them captive. He then brutally massacred the mobsters (and their families) before disappearing. From that point on, Söze does business only through underlings who don’t know who their boss is.
Kint continues on saying that Fenster died trying to flee, and that the men then threatened Kobayashi, but finally accepted the assignment once he threatened their loved ones. The men attack the ship under the cover of night. They manage to kill several Argentinian and Hungarian gangsters, but discover there isn’t any cocaine on board. They do find a man named Hockney, who is a prisoner in one of the cabins. Then suddenly, someone kills McManus and Keaton. That unseen assailant sets fire to the ship as Kint looks on from his hiding place on the dock.
Agent Kujan now figures that Keaton is Söze because the prisoner killed on the ship was Arturo Marquez. He was a smuggler who escaped prosecution because he could identify Söze. Edie Finneran represented Marquez, and he was recently murdered himself.
Kujan suspects the Argentinians took Marquez to sell him to Söze’s Hungarian rivals. Keaton then used the assault to kill Marquez, and fake his own death. Kint then confesses that Keaton was behind everything, but he refuses to testify in court. Someone posts Kint’s bail, and the police release him.
Once free, Agent Kujan puts two and two together when he looks at the items posted on a crowded bulletin board in his office. He notices the Kobayashi brand on the bottom of the coffee mug he’s drinking from. Kint had been lying to him the whole time.
Meanwhile, as Kint walks outside, his visible limp he’s had the entire film disappears, and he gives his supposedly disabled hand a little shake revealing he never had cerebral palsy. Agent Agent Kujan runs off to bring Kint back in as a fax arrives from the hospital. It’s a police sketch of the man the dying Arkosh Kovash says is Söze, snd it’s Kint’s spitting image. Agent Kujan narrowly misses him as he disappears into a car driven by his attorney he called Kobayashi.
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