John Cusack stars as Jack who is a hit man. Jack is hired by a criminal mob boss Dragna (played by Robert DeNiro) to retrieve a bag. He is offered a lot of money just to go get the bag. Jack is given explicit instructions, that under no circumstances is he to look at the contents inside the bag. He does as he is told. When he retrieves the bag, the guy giving it to him tries to kill him from the back seat of the car. He kills the guy instead but in the process gets shot in the hand which also destroys his cell phone. He puts the dead guy in the trunk of his car. He travels to a remote location to deliver the bag. The designated place is room 13 in a rundown motel that is far away from everything. He checks in at the motel, giving a fake name of John Smith, paying cash for the room. The creepy hotel clerk Ned (played by Crispin Glover) becomes suspicious when he specifically asks for room 13.
After Jack checks in, he walks past a prostitute Rivka (played by Rebecca Da Costa) hanging in front of the hotel, who attempts to pick him up. He notices he is being watched by two men in the room next door, when one of them knocks his door to ask for a corkscrew. He breaks into their room and shoots both of them dead, using a silencer so that nobody hears it. They have a briefcase with the photo of the bag he retrieved in it and identification showing they are FBI agents, which he takes back to his room. He hides the bag and the briefcase under his bed. He notices out the window, that the prostitute is being brutally abused by her pimp who has a strange midget as his sidekick. While he is out of his room getting the hotel clerk to turn the room phone on so he can call the crime boss, the prostitute sneaks into his room to escape the pimp. He finds her hiding in the bathroom. He realizes she has probably searched the place. He asks her if she looked in the bag. She says she didn't but realizes it must be important because she saw a photo of it in the briefcase. The pimp and the midget hunt for her. They knock on his door. He hides her in the bathroom and denies seeing her.
He tries to get rid of her by taking her to the local bus station. On the way there, they fight. He stops and throws her out of the car. She gets mad and kicks the trunk. The broken latch on the trunk opens. She sees the dead body of the man he previously killed inside the trunk. The pimp and the midget drive up. They fight with Jack. The fight is brutal but he defeats them. He goes back to the hotel with the prostitute because she now knows too much, so he cannot just let her go. He starts to like her, which makes him conflicted about what to do.
The police come to his hotel door to ask about the pimp and the midget that they found murdered on the road. He denies having seen them. He also denies having seen the girl but the hotel clerk knows that he took the girl into his room. The hotel clerk rats him out to the police. The police come back again, but he convinces them he does not know anything. He has the injured prostitute in his hotel room hiding in the bathroom. He decides to bury the bag in the woods. While he is hiding the bag, the hotel clerk attacks him. They fight and he kills the hotel clerk. The police return for a third time because the hotel clerk is missing. They know about the girl, and the bag. She escapes out the bathroom window while they search his hotel room. They take him in for questioning. They begin to torture him to discover where he hid the bag. The prostitute comes to the police station to rescue him. The police beat her badly, then attempt to rape her. She shoots one of the police with her concealed gun, then gets the policeman's gun which she gives to Jack. Jack shoots the other two police. Jack and Rivka escape back to the hotel. He goes to get the bag. He is surprised she knows he buried it. But she convinces him this is only because she saw the shovel he had in his room.
The Mob Boss finally arrives. He tells Jack this all has been a test of his loyalty and to find out if they can trust each other. Jack tells the Mob Boss he did exactly as instructed and did not look in the bag. The Mob Boss is convinced, but as the Mob Boss is leaving Jack finds out that Rivka, the prostitute, looked in the bag. He tells the Mob Boss, who tells him to kill her. He likes the woman and cannot kill her so he kills the Mob Boss instead.
He finally looks inside the bag. It contains the head of his fiancée, the Mob Boss had killed many years before because she wanted Jack to stop working for the Mob Boss. Jack and Rivka get away. It turns out Rivka was also working for the Mob Boss and was supposed to kill Jack if he succeeded in killing the Mob Boss. For this she is to receive $5 million. She tricks the attorney of the Mob Boss to give her the $5 Million by telling the attorney she killed Jack as planned, but in the end, she leaves with Jack to go away together.
Best part of story, including ending:
This story is a very interesting exploration of trust between criminals. As the Mob Boss says, “There are people you can trust and people that are killers, but there are few, if any, killers you can trust.”
Best scene in story:
I like the scene when it is revealed that the prostitute, Rivka, is actually working for the Mob Boss to set up Jack to test his loyalty.
Opinion about the main character:
Jack is a rare person who has integrity in doing what he says and at the same time is ruthless in his ability to kill people. Even though he is a murderer, we still like him very much and we want him to get away in the end.