The Death and Life of Bobby Z

The Death and Life of Bobby Z, also known as Bobby Z and Let's Kill Bobby Z, is a 2007 American-German action film, directed by John Herzfeld, and starring Paul Walker, Laurence Fishburne, Olivia Wilde and Joaquim de Almeida. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group release the film direct-to-video in the United States.[4] Don Winslow, who wrote the novel on which the film is based, acknowledged that the screen adaption was not successful.[5]

The Death and Life of Bobby Z
Bobby Z Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Herzfeld
Produced by
  • Brandon Birtell
  • Matt Luber
  • Keith Samples
  • Larry Schapiro
  • Peter Schlessel
  • Paul Walker
Written by
  • Bob Krakower
  • Allen Lawrence
Based onThe Death and Life of Bobby Z
by Don Winslow
Music byTim Jones
Edited by
  • Bruce Cannon
  • Alain Jakubowicz
Distributed bySony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group[1]
Release date
  • September 4, 2007 (2007-09-04) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes
  • United States
  • Germany
  • English
  • German
Budget$8 million
Box office$413,454[3]


Don Huertero (Joaquim de Almeida) is a Mexican drug lord. His daughter committed suicide because a drug dealer known as Bobby Z broke her heart. Consequently, Don Huertero is out for vengeance. In trepidation, Bobby Z seeks shelter in an American embassy. From there he is handed over to federal agent Tad Gruzsa (Laurence Fishburne).

In order to get hold of Bobby Z after all, Don Huertero takes a colleague of Tad Gruzsa as hostage and proposes an exchange. Bobby Z knows Don Huertero will not rest until he believes him dead. Being worried sick, he bribes Tad Gruzsa. Now Tad Gruzsa conceives a plan to deceive Don Huertero. He wants to make Don Huertero believe Bobby Z was dead without harming the real Bobby Z.

When the exchange is supposed to take place, Tad Gruzsa replaces Bobby Z. In his stead the clueless doppelgänger Tim Kearney (Paul Walker), a former Marine and an inmate, crosses the border. During the exchange Tad Gruzsa incites a gunfight and tries to shoot the doppelgänger dead. Even so, Tim Kearney scarcely survives. But Tad Gruzsa keeps on trying to kill him. But he fails time after time. Despite all his efforts it is the real Bobby Z who is taken down. Tim Kearney on the other hand finds love (Elizabeth, played by Olivia Wilde as a kind of it girl).


The films starts by introducing "the legend of Bobby Z", an immensely successful and famous marijuana trafficker, yacht owner and surfer, described ecstatically as an entity of almost mythical proportions by an old man, representing the contemporary folklore of the Gold Coast of Baja California.

The film then goes on to describe the film's hero Tim Kearney, played by male leading actor Paul Walker. Exposition flashbacks and narrative by the relatively hostile FBI agents serve to portray Kearney as a somewhat reckless and uncontrollable, yet also likeable and brave character, who ends up in prison because of his former qualities.

When Kearney accepts Tad Gruzsa's offer, the audience does not know anything more than he does. Thus the film continues, following Tim Kearny as he successively collects information. The audience is never ahead of him. This and the fact that a great deal of the story has already happened before the hero gets involved, require flashbacks galore. As a result, the structure is highly interlaced.

The film ends with a few concluding remarks by the same old man of the Gold Coast that appeared in the introduction.



The film is based on a 1997 novel of the same name by Don Winslow.[6] The novel was positively reviewed by several newspapers.[7][8][9][10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The Death and Life of Bobby Z at". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-12-22. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^
  5. ^ 'In All Candor: Don Winslow on Savages, The Kings of Cool and Satori';CraveOnline, 5 July 2012
  6. ^ Winslow, Don (1997). The death and life of Bobby Z (1st ed.). New York: Knopf. pp. 259 p., 24 cm. ISBN 0-679-45429-2. LCCN 96052202. OCLC 36060008.
  7. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (May 25, 1997). "Crime (reviews of several novels, including The Death and Life of Bobby Z)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Taylor, Charles (August 5, 1997). "The Death and Life of Bobby Z". Salon. Retrieved 2008-11-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Chollet, Laurence (April 27, 1997). "Author Changes Tracks". The Record (Bergen County, NJ). Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved 2008-11-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Reed, Ronald (May 11, 1997). "It's a mad, mad, mad, mad chase. Review of The Death and Life of Bobby Z". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. p. 6. Retrieved 2008-11-03. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit