23 October 2005 | bob the moo
A pointless, empty affair that only makes you think of other films that do it much, much better
A gang of four thieves rob a bank and use roller blades to escape from the cops. This is the first of several daring robberies they have planned the second involving an armoured car and an underwater escape. When they pull that off they find that, not only do they get the cash they wanted but they have also stolen millions worth of bonds. Things look good for everyone as they know they will at least be able to get half their value through a shifty broker; meanwhile though they not only have to cope with the cops but also some other groups that want the gang for other reasons.
When this film started I immediately thought of a French short film called Argent Content which was a substanceless but enjoyable short about a bank robbery followed by a cool roller skate escape. That short was style over substance but the short running time saved it. However Riders moved past this copy and started to just lift lots of stuff from other films Heat, Sneakers etc, all the genre clichés are forced into the movie but sadly nobody took the time to structure them into a worthwhile film that made any sense. So many things are thrown at the screen but they make no sense nor do they hang together. So we have stunts for the sake of stunts, characters that lack any motivation, a Heat-style relationship that appears as quickly as it disappears and a plot that is just all over the place. It isn't awful but it is just so inane you wonder how on earth anyone ever though it was a good idea.
The cast seem promising on paper but on film they are mostly confused and poor. Dorff is sexy and has good presence but he cannot make anything of his confused character but he does look sexy nonetheless. Henstridge is also sexy but other than that you have to wonder how long she worked on the movie all the rest of her scenes could have been done in a few days before getting sweaty with Dorff. The idea that their characters would have somehow had a Pacino/De Niro relationship is just laughable. Speaking of laughable, Bruce Payne is in this film and is terrible. However at least he is in the movie, which cannot be 100% said for Steven Berkoff who just appears to be in his entirely own, twisted little film. Bennett, Cliché and McCarthy are all reasonable in support but neither they nor anyone else can do anything with this shambles of a film.
The crazy style of Taxi might have worked once but Pires' attempts to do it again here just fall flat and it just falls flat on its face from the very start. Pointless and inane and will please only the very, very undemanding genre fan.