This is a movie I missed when it came out. I was in college and the marketing made it seem like a fish out of water comedy. The framing of Tom Hanks caricature character and the inclusion of Marlon Wayans at the height of Wayans brothers Scary Movies made it seem like something other than a Coen Brothers dark comedy. I was wrong, and I'm glad I found it streaming on Netflix today. It was much more than I expected for smart comedy as well as for the composition of the story.
Maybe I'm a sucker for cat characters, and maybe the Coen Brothers know this from viewers because of their use of the cat in Inside Llewyn Davis, but the movie comes alive just a bit more when the cat is on screen. The cat seems to be the character of the filmmakers. I'm not sure how exactly it is, but it seems to be the filmmakers saying "I'm going to cause a little chaos in this scene and run up a tree" or "I'm going to just sit on the step and watch these people" or "I'm going to literally run away with the violence and crime in a whimsical way" just before dropping the final note of the film onto the endless train of trash barges floating down the river.
I missed out on this movie for more than a decade but it feels brand new to me now.