Archive for the ‘Heist’ Category

110 – The Heist

March 21, 2002

If you read these reviews just to find out quickly how I feel about a movie, let me save you some time. This movie is garbage. Pure, unadulterated crap.

Gene Hackman plays yet another veteran criminal (Joe Moore), and like all of the veteran criminals before him, he’s looking to make One Last Score and then get out of the business. He has a crack robbery team, with Bobby (Delroy Lindo), Pinky (Ricky Jay), and his wife Fran (Rebecca Pidgeon). His boss is Bergman (Danny DeVito), a slimy, tough-talking misanthrope. Really, now, who could be scared of Danny DeVito? So he cusses… big, fat, hairy deal.

Anyway, Bergman stiffs the gang for their last job, and insists they pull off another one, after which they’ll get paid for both. Oh, and as an added bonus, Joe has to take along Bergman’s moron son Jimmy (Sam Rockwell). Oh boy, what fun! Naturally, Jimmy’s a complete dumbass, and Rockwell’s performance is so stiff I was afraid rigor mortis would set in before the movie was over. Overbearing, hammy, annoying, and just plain repugnant.

So you have an experienced team of robbers, with the wild card of a dunce tossed in just to gum up the works. Now, this is a caper movie, so there are twists. And twists. And more twists. And doublecrosses and triplecrosses and doublequadruple-lutz crosses, and so on. The plot’s so convoluted that you need a topographic map to find your way out of it – but that doesn’t mean it’s not utterly predictable, too. There are twists, yes, but they’re not terribly interesting twists.

This is a movie bereft of intelligence, originality, or genuine excitement. You get the feeling that the actors are either over the top (Rockwell) or nonchalant (Hackman). And speaking of Hackman, this is a role he could have played in his sleep, and probably is. Such a somnabulent performance! One of his worst ever, and this is someone who’s made about fourteen zillion movies in his career, approximately. He looks tired and old – hey, he’s past 70 now, I think. About time to knock off with the I Am a Tough Cookie bit, Gene. Go play retired old cops or father figures, or something.

Pidgeon, who’s married to the director, David Mamet, does have a real screen presence and managed to brighten up all of her scenes. But she’s about 40 years too young to be playing Hackman’s wife – what is it with old farts in Hollywood getting married to very young characters, anyway? She’s good, just out of place in this movie. Next to her, Delroy Lindo is his usual rock; he’s about the only person here who looks like he belongs in the movie.

Laughable dialog, disinterested or bug-eyed acting, and treacherous pacing make this a must never see.

The Heist: 2