22 April 2003 | bob the moo
Slight but fun
Picked up on grand theft auto, Cosimo is told of a big job by a lifer. Cosimo goes to his friend Toto to help get a guy to do his jail time for him so he can do the job. After asking around Toto comes up with Pero. However Pero double-crosses Cosimo and leaves him in jail and sets up the group to do the job without him. After they enlist the help of expert safe cracker Jerzy the group start putting down the foundations for a job that has all the hallmarks of disaster.
I went to see this with the usual blaze of hype that goes with any movie, the usual OTT quotes from the hacks etc. I didn't expect too much so it was a pleasant surprise. The plot is quite enjoyable and is enlivened by a witty (but not hilarious) script. The comedy of the actual job is great and delivered well. However I will stress that anyone who goes along with the words of Jonathon Ross (`I haven't laughed so hard in years') will probably be disappointed as it isn't a laugh a second.
The strength of the film is in the strong cast. There is no real star (although it will be sold on Clooney) and everyone carries the story and the humour. Macy is good, Rockwell is funny as always, Clooney has a good cameo, Washington is solid enough but I prefer Esposito when she uses her normal voice. Gabrielle Union has a very small part but manages to be very seductive in the first of her two scenes she is clearly going to be bigger in the next few years or so. For me the star of the film is Michael Jeter. It's such a shame that he died not even a month ago but this is a good film to follow his loss with. He makes many of the laughs with his pathetic yet endearing old man. In some scenes he makes laughs out of nothing and his performance is pitch perfect.
On the whole I was tickled by this film and that was enough for me. Many will be let down as they have been told it is a laugh riot. If you go in just expecting a bit of fun with good actors then that is what you'll get. It's very slight but it is amusing enough to justify watching.