Friday 7 April 2023

Movie Review: Heist (2001)

Genre: Crime Thriller
Director: David Mamet
Starring: Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, Delroy Lindo, Sam Rockwell, Rebecca Pidgeon
Running Time: 109 minutes

Synopsis: A specialist in high-value heists, Joe (Gene Hackman) leads a gang consisting of wife Fran (Rebecca Pidgeon) and long-time associates Bobby (Delroy Lindo) and Pinky (Ricky Jay). After his face is exposed during a jewelry store robbery, Joe seeks to retire but has a falling out with criminal financier Mickey (Danny DeVito). He is pressured to proceed with a gold heist and forced to include Mickey's nephew Jimmy (Sam Rockwell) in the plan. 

What Works Well: David Mamet directs with cold efficiency, the dialogue lines are packed with zing, and the action scenes are coiled with tension. Gene Hackman is dependably cerebral.

What Does Not Work Well: The remarkably obscure plot details enable limitless opportunities for requisite backstabbing and double-crossing, which means all the displayed actions and motivations are immediately labeled dubious. The characters remain stubbornly superficial, with Danny DeVito phoning in his performance. The plot is riddled with logic gaps and the final act unravels into an anything-goes muddled mess.

Conclusion: The quest for postured cleverness sacrifices plot fundamentals.

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