Anyone expecting a typical crime drama, or even a Scorsese-esque Urban Anomie Saga w/ slick period soundtrack will be disappointed. This film is genuinely eccentric (not Tarantino-style faux weirdness), made under chaotic circumstances with intense philosophical earnestness. That earnestness, w/ the film's addled direction, can be achingly funny.
The highlights aren't just Lydon's tweaky, flat-voiced hamming or Keitel's poker face (w/ Lydon he's the funniest straight-man since Oliver Hardy). Check it out, the whole film was made in ROME! And they don't seem to care if you notice! Just count the loose plot ends, the obvious, clueless ad-libs, the supposedly tart one-liners that fall like little Hindenbergs. Watch for the scene where Keitel rotates a milk carton, on camera, because the label wasn't visible enough for the product placement. And then there's that "70's Country song," which is actually Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony played on wheezy folk guitar. These people had no idea what they were doing, but they weren't even trying to do it like anyone else. The result is somehow monumental.