Heist

"Good"

Heist Review


David Mamet is a good director. Mamet's an even better screenwriter and playwright. The guy's authored some of the best film and theatre works in the past decade -- The Verdict, House of Games, Wag the Dog, State and Main, and the guy even won a Pulitzer Prize for his play Glengarry Glen Ross. With that said, it's such a shame that his latest crime caper, Heist, falls apart by employing too many of the well-known devices of a Mamet production -- double-crossing femmes fatale, overtly memorable characters, and deceptive plot lines.

But movies like The Spanish Prisoner, Things Change, and The Winslow Boy display a roundness to Mamet's innate abilities. And it's almost a crime to witness how all of that goes awry in his latest film, Heist.

Heist twists and turns along the road of documenting the shady life of career jewel thief Joe Moore (Gene Hackman) and his posse of thieves -- Bobby Blane (Delroy Lindo) and Don "Pinky" Pincus (Ricky Jay). During a raid on a jewelry store, Moore ends up with his mug on the surveillance cameras and he goes on the lam from the local marshals. He decides to get out of Dodge with his recent bride Fran (Rebecca Pidgeon, looking like a cross between Sharon Stone and Joan Crawford), sailing into the sunset on his yacht. The only problem is that his fence Bergman (Danny Devito) has set up a big score -- The Swiss Job -- which he wants done so badly he holds Joe's cut of the jewelry heist on layaway until The Swiss Job is done. To ensure his faithful hound brings the goods home intact, Bergman tosses his nephew Jimmy Silk (Sam Rockwell) into Joe's crew for observation purposes. Things become complicated when Joe's wife has an affair with Jimmy, The Swiss Job turns sour, DeVito starts acting like his character from Ruthless People, and Ricky Jay starts looking for the exit to this mess of a film.

A Mamet production usually derives its success from a solid emotional attachment to its characters -- usually they've been wronged and are seeking justice or absolution. The naïve scientist from The Spanish Prisoner or the curious psychologist from House of Games were just decent people we recognize in our everyday lives. When those people get royally screwed over, its human nature to desire retribution. Heist lacks any such emotional attachment. Of greater concern is the recycling of plot points from Ronin (which Mamet co-wrote using an alias), dealing with a similar plot involving double-crossing thieves on the run.

To save the day, though, Heist carries some of the best actors working today. DeVito, Lindo, and Hackman chew up and spit out the scenery around them. Sam Rockwell -- who usually plays naïve and jovial characters in movies like Galaxy Quest -- plays Silk as cold, manipulative, and downright spooky.

But the main problem with Heist is how surprisingly predictable the story is. Unlike the similar yet far superior The Score, there's never any surprise during Heist's twisting. Mamet has just become lazy with this one. Everything about the film looks great, but there's nothing at all underneath.

Reviewed as part of our coverage of the 24th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival.

What happened to the script (above right).



Heist

Facts and Figures

Run time: 109 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th November 2001

Box Office USA: $23.3M

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Franchise Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Morgan Creek Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Fresh: 83 Rotten: 44

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Joe Moore, as Mickey Bergman, as Bobby 'Bob' Blane, as Jimmy Silk, as Fran Moore, as Betty Croft

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.