Jay Alaimo

The film begins with a flash forward and a flashback—both of which are comprised of the same situation—two males and one female in a standoff where one male has a weapon. In the past, young Ash is armed with a slingshot and in the future, he’s grown into David Arquette aiming a gun while his best friend Taylor (Balthazar Getty) and Taylor's girlfriend April (Thora Birch) try to get him to calm down. In the past, the young girl tells Taylor she doesn’t know why he hangs out with Ash and the same is true of the future scene which opens and closes Slingshot via a circular narrative.

Moving backwards in time to a more recent start, we become better acquainted with the two friends who’ve been as close as brothers since childhood while they mature into adult punks concocting a new scam consists of seducing bored, neglected Connecticut hockey moms and then once granted access to their homes, raiding their jewelry boxes and robbing them blind.

Things become complicated when Taylor meets April after she accidentally gives him the signal created by her mother-- his sexy and a bit too willing mark Karen (Julianna Marguiles) who has a habit of leaving her light on when her husband’s away. Shortly after speaking to Karen's daughter April, Taylor realizes that he wants to evolve from his petty ways with Ash by escaping the suburb she calls “a mundane lockdown” with April.

April, the film’s most unconvincing and poorly written character that leaves Birch with the unenviable task of trying to fill in the many blanks in portraying a woman not even given one eighth of the consideration by the screenwriter as the men, results in one of her most disappointing performances. In addition, the film suffers in its inconsistent third act which is bogged down by an unclear tone and overwhelmingly awkward melding of “a moody character piece, class-crossed romance, repressed homoerotic thrilled and stalled road movie” (Ronnie Sheib, Variety). Lacking emotional involvement and instead inspiring indifference as it tries to be all things to all viewers, Slingshot boasts great turns by Getty and Arquette and an opening that indicated it had enormous potential but ultimately failed to provide anything new or fresh to the overpopulated independent petty con artist subgenre.