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  • There had not been so much hype in France about this movie (which was surprising considering the people involved), so I walked into the theater with some sort of apprehension. Well, it was surprisingly good! Of course, not a masterpiece. The very realistic location and the black humor make you think immediately of Q. Tarantino's movies, so you could say that it's been done before, but if you take it for what it is (a copy), it's made with craft, not pretentious, not dumb, has a solid script and is extremely well played (hats off to Renaud and to Harvey Keitel, who's never been so hilarious). It mixes with ability the French and the American conceptions of entertainment, and it also includes a few memorable scenes - in fact, it contains all the ingredients of a potential cult movie. There are very worse ways to spend 2 hours.
  • If you are familiar with both American and French culture, this movie is hilarious. If you are not familiar with the frog culture, you won't get all the jokes, but there should be enough jokes left to enjoy yourself seriously. This is one very well-made crime-comedy. The movie does not suffer from overacting and the jokes are not laid on heavily. The actors are superb and seem to have had a great time making this movie. The script is intelligent and funny.

    Let me explain one joke for those who are not familiar with French culture: during the bar scene in Paris, the Johnny Halliday and Renaud characters (they are popular singers in real life) repeatedly switch off the other guy's music to play their own recording. And I was impressed by the way they played tough criminals. Good acting !

    On a personal note, this movie was a very nice surprise for me, who have lived in France for many years and speak French fluently. I had picked up the DVD in the video store only because I saw Harvey Keitel's name on the cover. The title did not mean anything to me and I did not bother to read anything else on the cover. Harvey Keitel was enough assurance the movie would at least be OK. Then the movie starts in total darkness, with some people whispering. At first I did not understand what was said, as I was expecting to hear English, but no, they spoke French. And for the next 10 to 15 minutes, it was a French movie set in Paris. I was sure they had put the wrong DVD in the box, but I did not mind so much as I found the movie entertaining. Then of course the action moved to the USA...
  • All they needed was Jean Reno. Depardieu, Hallyday, Renaud, Taghmaoui and the lesser known, Freiss and Dray make up a gang of complete screw-ups who are set up to take a fall and wind up robbing Keitel, always great as a mafioso, and get involved in every kind of mess-up imaginable. The ending is charming and remindful of the ending in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Although the film is quite violent, and liberally sparkled with gallows humor, it comes off incredibly well as a dark comedy. Depardieu does well with comedy and his chemistry with the rest of the bunch is superb in all their antics.

    If you haven't seen it, do. If you have, rent it again. I had to, in order to pick up on some of the laughs I missed while guffawing the first time around. Even if you don't speak French, the subtitles are cleverly apt and capture most of the witty dialogue among these veteran French actors.
  • This is the funniest movie I've seen in a long while. Who knew murder could be hilarious? From the opening scenes with the older gentlemen to the last scenes, I laughed my head off. Which wasn't easy because it was 4 a.m. when I watched it. Each scene was extremely clever and held my attention because I knew something wise and funny was about to happen.

    I'd have to say that my favorite character was Harvey Keitel's character because he had some really funny lines and funny scenes. But, honestly, every single one of the characters had something that brought this movie together and made it comical. Whether that was the writer's intention, I don't know. But it worked amazingly well. See this movie and enjoy because you will laugh.
  • Romafil14 November 2003
    This is one of the funniest Crime Caper films I have ever seen. The opening sequence is just hysterical. The cast is fantastic and play off one another wonderfully. Depardieu's understated humor is incredible and Keitel is very funny as the mafia boss. Two other performances to mention are Renaud as Zero and Albert Dray as Raymond. Brad Mirman's direction is fast-paced and he seems to have a great feel for humor. If you want to be entertained and laugh for 99 minutes then Crime Spree is a film you have to see.
  • I have to say I've been a frequent visitor of the IMDb and I cannot believe some of the comments said about this movie. Rather than judging this movie by how funny it was, they try and find little problems that they can come and complain about. I honestly feel this was a good movie. There was many bad movies made in Canada, but this is not one of them. Maybe it was because I didn't expect much, but I laughed really hard and have been talking about this movie for quite some time now. It far exceeded my expectations, therefore, for those who want to watch a good and funny movie, I definitely recommend it. I gave it an 8 out of 10. And for those who gave this movie a below 6 rating, I think you should alter your way of rating a movie.
  • I picked this up in Poundland expecting very little except that the word 'crime' in the title got my attention, and I'll watch any type of heist film. It was past one in the morning when I saw it, and I considered going to bed instead, then, after watching the first few scenes of the 95m movie (it said 84m on the box) I thought I'd watch half of it today and the other half tomorrow but it kept me watching till the end, occasionally laughing out loud. Comedy caper films nearly always fail. The Italian Job is over-rated. Don't even get me started on public-school- educated Guy Ritchie's films. But any fan of Donald Westlake's Dortmunder books, in which a hapless crime planner is saddled with a team of non-starters and has to extricate himself from increasing complications, will see that this is the best Dortmunder movie the late Westlake never wrote. The only successful Dortmunder adaptation was How to Steal a Diamond in Four Uneasy Lessons (also known as The Hot Rock). All the others failed to a lesser or greater extent. Despite the predominantly French tone, and the minimal characterisation of Depardieu's character (Dortmunder is usually silent, unless complaining, anyway) this is what a Dortmunder adaptation should be, even though it isn't. Not a great movie, by any means, with too many respectful nods to Tarantino (surely the greater influence here, and not Ritchie?) but a very watchable one that keeps you wanting to know what happens next. Wayne Newton's (yes, that's a man singing) 'Danke Schoen' is used to great effect.
  • "Crime Spree" is a good movie. It's not a great one, but it's certainly very funny and quite entertaining. Its major problem is, though, that it's almost completely ripped off from either "Snatch" or "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels." Now, don't get me wrong: I enjoyed "Crime Spree" immensely and I do recommend it. However, don't go into it expecting to see something original or revolutionary, especially if you're a Guy Ritchie fan.

    Writer/director Brad Mirman crafts a cute, international comedy with the requisite murder/theft/convoluted plot that has dragged Ritchie to the spotlight while bringing nothing new to the table. One disappointing aspect of "Crime Spree," though, is that it neither has Ritchie's blitheness nor his gravity in serious matters. When, in either "Snatch" or "Lock, Stock," the characters find out that they're screwed, we can feel just how screwed they are. In "Crime Spree," we don't know them well enough to comprehend the level of crap they're in. This is probably because Mirman doesn't take the time to establish the characters well enough to make us feel anything for them. We see that they're a likable group of guys who happen to be hapless thieves, and that's where the character development ends.

    I think Mirman's biggest problem is that he underwrote the script. The scene that catapults the story is too unexpected and weird, because it involves a character too peripheral. It takes a huge leap of faith to think that something so minor could result in an onset of problems that big, because said peripheral character lacks the motivation to be involved in the plot in the first place.

    Now, speaking of the plot. The plot has Ritchie's signature written all over it, only whereas Ritchie begins at the beginning, so to speak, when he introduces his characters, Mirman gets lazy and does expository dialogue instead. This is probably a mistake, since he has neither the style nor the substance to fill the holes well enough and make me ignore the sloth of his writing.

    Lastly, Mirman's work suffers from a lot of side ordership. There are only two important groups in the forefront, but Mirman stuffs the movie with side characters that seem to distract from the development of the main characters. Whereas Ritchie somehow incorporates these side assemblies into the main plot, Mirman doesn't have the skill to do this, so I wind up feeling annoyed at the fact that some totally arbitrary people are stealing the screen time. I wish to Christ that, in the cases of both Ritchie and Mirman, or any of the numerous on-the-rise directors who want to follow in that vein, people learn that simplicity isn't always a bad thing. A movie doesn't have to have thirty protagonists to be good. Both "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock" had this problem, but in those movies, the side characters were at least somewhat amusing.

    Despite these rather grave errors, "Crime Spree," as I said before, is a good film. It's light (though not light enough) with dark moments (that are, alas, not dark enough), but it works in its own odd, plagiarist way. Mirman has style in terms of shooting the thing and a couple of moments in the film work better than anything Ritchie has ever spawned. Also on the plus side in the Mirman column, he has assembled an excellent cast that can at least act.

    Do I recommend it? As I said, absolutely. But if you're looking for something to blow your mind and you've not been living in a Luddite compound in terms of the Ritchie Revolution, "Crime Spree" just won't do it for you.
  • donzup18 April 2003
    That's not THE film of the year, that's not a very good action movie, but it's really amazing ! The humour of the actors is great, and the english speaking of Renaud, Depardieu is really funny. It refers to french culture, so there may be a few jokes hard to understand for americans, but, it's an american movie, so I suppose it will be appreciated there too. Harvey Keitel in his known maffia role, playing with his own image is something to see too !

    This movie is a "must see".
  • it's the best comedy i have ever seen... it's a type of comedy with idiots... because those "thieves" don't know nothing else but getting into trouble. i think those who made this super-film have an excellent sense of humor especially the scenarist and the director... the actors are special and each of them plays very well his character and each character is different and well clean-cut. i have seen very many good comedy movies(i'm a fan of this type of films) but nothing compares to this one(eventually scary movie 2).... the situation humor and language humor is predominating... for example Zero's type of language says everything about his character. i recommend this movie for all types of ages... its a film which everyone should see it at least once in the life. You must see it!!!!
  • I actually laughed out loud at this smart funny film about a gang of French men doing a "job" in the US, then getting caught in a web of unexpected developments. I have no idea why I didn't hear of this movie earlier, it's just as funny as Lock Stock and Two Loaded Barrels, only it's more wit than brawn, as the spree of French actors are above a certain age. Even the last scene is reminiscent of the above mentioned film.

    The story was good, the dialogues funny, the music was nice, the acting was very good, as one might expect from a bunch of actors such as these.

    Bottom line: a must see movie, even if it is, after all, an action comedy about mobsters of different aromas.
  • First, be forewarned the makers of this film are ballot-stuffing. There's a good reason why you can buy it for less than $1 on Amazon - because it's really BAD.

    How to describe this film? Put the word "bad" in front of any component of a film, and you've got it. Bad Tarantino/Lock Stock/Get Shorty knock-off. Bad writing. Bad directing. Bad acting. Bad cinematography. Bad continuity. Bad decision for Keitel and Depardieu. Bad rental choice. I made it through about 20 minutes before I reached for the Pepto Bismol anti-depressants. If you want a really great obscure crime comedy, try "Big Deal on Madonna Street."
  • After a failure in a robbery, a gang of five fumbled French and one Algerian who does not speak French flies to Chicago to heist some jewels. The gang, composed by Daniel Foray (Gérard Depardieu), Marcel Burot (Johnny Halliday), Zero (Renaud), Julien Labesse (Stéphane Freiss), Raymond Gayet (Albert Dray) and Sami (Said Taghmaoui) steal the car of a violent chief of a street gang and meet with Sophie Nicols (Joanne Kelly), who gives the address where the jewels are stored to them. However, the house indeed belongs to a local boss of Chicago Mafia, Frankie Zammeti (Harvey Keitel), and does not have any jewels, but some tapes with the plot of Zammeti for killing Angelo Giancarlo (Abe Vigode), a powerful chief of the Mafia. A corrupt FBI agent has financial interests on the tapes and chases them. The gang is also hunted by the Mafia, the street gang and the Chicago police. This movie is a combination of comedy and police story, having very funny situations. It is an excellent entertainment. The problem is the trailer, available in other DVDs, which shows basically the whole story. My vote is eight.

    Title (Brazil): `Procurados' (`Wanted')
  • "Crime Spree" is a comedy crime flick about a crew of stumblebum French crooks who travel to Chicago to pull a job and become embroiled in a messy conglomeration of situations involving a Latino gang, the FBI, the Chicago mob, and sundry side characters. More of a long series of mildly humorous brain farts than a homogeneous and well wrought caper comedy, "Crime Spree" mixes Keitel and Depardieu with a slew of where-have-I-seen-that-guy-before actors, some ballistics, a babe for a heartbeat, and a skosh of action, and a whole bunch of obvious gags to achieve its budget-conscious and marginally acceptable result. Worth a look for those into campy comedy, but best saved for broadcast when the pickin's is slim. (C+)
  • Brad Mirman's "Crime Spree" is the perfect example of movies where you could easily tell who saw it and who didn't: either it inspires a "huh?" or a big and sincere smile in the face. The film that features a gang of criminal screw-ups 100% made-in-France in Chicago, the American is so hilarious, with the same level of gentleness than other good-hearted comedies such as "My Cousin Vinny" or "Wayne's World" that the whole Tarantino or Guy Ritchie's rip-off allegations are absolutely meaningless.

    To understand the simple but efficient greatness of "Crime Spree", imagine the opening scene, set in the dark. Two thieves are whispering, probably because the house owner is there, Gerard Depardieu as Daniel and Stephane Freiss as Julien, that came to steal a painting, one of them brought the flashlight but forgot about the batteries. Why? Because he brought everything that was on the list: gloves, pen, knives except the batteries because they were not on the list. The absurdity of his argument confined to comical genius … wait, now, as if it was not funny enough, there's the third one, Raymond as the fat well-mannered getaway driver, who joins them because … he felt alone in the car. In one minute, we have an idea of the guys we're dealing with.

    Indeed, what is so great about "Crime Spree" is that the movie never cheats the viewer by delivering something else than laughs, even the most unexpected and random gags are inserted, not to mention some priceless one-liners. When Daniel's boss, Bastaldi, remarkably played by Ricahrd Bohringer, wants to point out his crew's incapacity, he throws a plate at his hands to indirectly signify that they were empty. Anyway, he has a mission for them, in the States. "You speak English?", asks Bastaldi in French, to which Depardieu immediately replies "Yes" as if it was the best guarantee that he does. Just imagine the scene in reverse: "You speak French?" "Oui". Each gag catches you totally off-guard.

    This attention to little gags redeem the overall B-movie feel, that makes "Crime Spree" inferior to "Pulp Fiction" or "Lock, Stock" in a larger scope, but it's one thing to say that and another to accuse the film of being a cheap imitation when it clearly has no other ambition to be a funny story playing on cultural gaps …if one thing, let's not forget that the screenplay was written in 1996, and maybe if it was made in a time where France was more popular, remember in 2003, French fries were renamed "Freedom Fries", just to give you a certain idea of the context. But seriously, I'd trade any genuine laughs from predictable gags unoriginal than a timid smile from a film that tries too much on the sophistication.

    "Crime Spree" is a raw pleasure with a level of naivety that almost confines to tenderness What makes the film less 'cinematically' great is. At one moment, two of the crew join the team, Renaud as the laconic Zero (the name is so neutral that it's hilarious) and Johnny Halliday as Marcel. At one moment, they fight to decide which radio station they'll listen to, they each want to listen to their own song. The joke is funny because it's so damn predictable when you have two of the most popular singers from France. The film doesn't forget to mock French' culinary habits with a beautiful scene in a restaurant conclude by Zero's comment: "no smoking, no drinking, what kind of country is that?" At least, Brad Mirman spared us the cliché with frogs' legs.

    There is no need to summarize the plot which is a typical gimmick of the crime genre with the intricate plots that gets everyone gets mixed up, from a corrupt cop, a gang of Mexican hoodlums, black guns dealers and to an obligatory Mafia leader. Predictable, maybe. But it works. And on that department, "Crime Spree" uses two of the most endearing character actors who starred in the most acclaimed gangster films : Abe Vigoda as the venerable Giancarlo aka Mr. G. and his plotting capo Frankie Zemetti, played by Harvey Keitel in a great comedic performance as the no non-sense gangster who takes his business so seriously that he's inevitably hilarious.

    As the fitting antagonist, Zemetti has a deal of good lines, to a negotiator who explains that the proceeds will be supernumerary, the stares he gives when he hears the word is priceless and naturally he asks what it means. The funny thing is not that the guy used the word because he's taking courses to enhance his vocabulary, but that Zemetti uses it the next scene with Mr. G, provoking the same "what the …?" reaction. Still, it's nothing compared to his explicit "What the F does that mean?" after Zemetti explained that he broke his own brother's arm because "honor without respect is like a horseless carriage". I can go on and on, if there was a Top 10 of Keitel's greatest roles, I'd put this one. His wisecracking and interactions with his men are absolutely hilarious : "You mean, French guys from France?".

    The plot escalates very fluidly, featuring common archetypes of the gangster genre: shootouts, car chases, and even some dramatic moments handled efficiently because we do care for these characters. There's something absolutely endearing in characters that mustn't goof and yet can't help it, that's the quality that makes them irresistibly funny, with a honorable mention to Said Taghmaoui as Sami, the Arab intermediary who's the only one to believe in his toughness and macho attitude. And take it from someone who hate outtakes in ending credits, as they kill the very purpose of a film, this time, it works because the film is so humble it doesn't even ask us to take it seriously…

    ... yet we do because it's truly one of the funniest films of the last decade ... and deserves to become a cult comedic classic.
  • nastyemu251 January 2004
    contrary to some of the comments here-- this movie is not hilarious.

    the plot was great, but many of the jokes were wasted by some horrific dialogue and awkward english. the better talents like Gerard Dep. and Renaud's character Zero are largely unused in favor of some bumbling fat guy who was torture to watch....

    good direction-- just bad, bad, baaaad acting/dialog and a waste of some good characters
  • A crew of fairly inept French burglars are given one last chance to impress their boss by pulling off a jewel robbery in Chicago. To help (or hinder) them, they are given the support of a couple of less savoury hoods and an incompetent Algerian. What follows is almost as predictable as the above might indicate - but not, I'm glad to say, without some quality laughs.

    Crime Spree is NOT an excellent film. The script is flawed (the stolen car from the latin gang is a woeful subplot); the acting is too laid back at times and, as has been said below (on Jan 6th 2004), the director often can't decide on the cinematic style he prefers. But let's be balanced here - the director of this film is only as inconsistent as his above detractor. I mean - anyone who thinks the saving of the girl in the hallway is stolen from The Untouchables is being majorly tenuous and then to neglect to mention that De Palma actually (and totally) stole his particular scene from a much earlier movie is not really playing the game. By all means love or hate films - but don't force flawed arguments on those who disagree with you. Please.

    The muffled phone sex scene is funny; the ariel shot of Marcel blasting his way through the hotel is excellent; the death scene of one of the gang members is poignant and the styles and verities that work serve the film well. It's not excellent cinema but it is amiable and of a welcome, off-beat quality that deserves appreciation and more respect than some might wish it. Then again - that's just my opinion. Each to their own.
  • Very cleverly written comedy crime caper from Brad Mirman as first time director. Fantastic cast and you don't need to be French to enjoy brilliant performances from Hallyday and Renaud. Great closing sequence reminiscent of some classic French cinema, tongue in cheek.
  • HB-227436 January 2004
    This movie is awful. It tries to be funny and fails every time. You can see where you're supposed to laugh, you know the intention is humor, but it's just not funny. The characters are terribly written. They start off as complete fools and by the end they're devising intricate schemes that come together in entirely ridiculous fashion. But the most painful part of watching this movie has to be sitting through these pathetic attempts at humor.

    The next point is this split-screen editing. Some here are raving about it. First of all, it's terrible. Second of all, why even use it to begin with? Brian De Palma used it to tell a story, Norman Jewison used to perfection in the first Thomas Crown Affair. In Crime Spree it just pops up an hour into the movie and then disappears. It's like the editor discovered a new trick on the Avid and then got sick of it before he knew how to use it. Only one of the three splits moved at any given time, the other two were static. What's the point? If you want to direct our attention to the only one of the three splits that's moving, then don't use a split screen.

    The director desecrates the masters time and time again. Remember the baby carriage on the staircase scene from De Palma's The Untouchables, Crime Spree has the little girl in the hallway scene, without one iota of the suspense. How about the great Leone showdowns with Clint, Lee Van, Fonda, and Bronson- the close ups of the eyes, the tension before the first man goes for his gun. That's here in Crime Spree too. Not the tension or the beauty, or the sheer power Leone had of capturing the moment and making it last forever, but the close ups of the eyes that say, "Look at me, I've seen The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," that's there. Then we move to Tarantino, right out of Pulp Fiction, remember when Jules and Vince escape a barrage of bullets miraculously and Jules is changed forever? Well, Crime Spree has that too, without the revelation of course.

    And though not a master, Crime Spree also steals liberally from Guy Ritchie as well, right down to the bridge scene in Lock Stock. Not to mention the hole in the door shot.

    This director has seen good movies, that's obvious, he's tried to copy them. But he has no idea what makes them good. It's like when these bozos in Hollywood decide to remake the old Twilight Zone series. They give you the shell of the old show with some weird premise, but with none of the depth, with none of the soul of Rod Serling.

    There is nothing good about Crime Spree. It's bad on every level, from the script to the editing to the lighting to the directing, and everything in between. I can't believe that of the 260 people who have thus far voted on this movie, that 60 have given it a 10. If I could vote from one to and hundred, I'd give this a zero. It's truly awful.

    I just can't believe these other reviews. I think someone's stuffing the ballot box. Anyone who rates this movie anything higher than garbage is suspect.

    I rented this and Dirty Deeds on the same night, and although I didn't think much of Dirty Deeds, it's looking Oscar-worthy after seeing Crime Spree.
  • I bought this on sale at blockbuster sight unseen.. I figured how bad can it be .. harvey kitel .. it was excellent. An awesome crime/comedy i laughed and laughed .. from the beginning to the end.

    it just has everything you could want in a crime/comedy movie and more. i would definitely recommend it to anyone. there are a lot of movies that claim to be what this one is .. and just don't have the "get go" to make it through a feature length time frame. if i had to associated it with other films they would be Snatch, Lock Stock and two smoking barrels, Payback and others.

    This is one i would like to have seen on the big screen.
  • Another prime example of marquee names having a good ol' time collecting paychecks and having a ball making a film at the audience's expense, and the fact that these marquee names do NOT mean a thing when it comes to entertainment. I'm sure they had fun making it. The film however, is chock-full-o-cliché boring, abysmal stuff. The script is awful, the performances are third grade. The rip-offs are blatant. The plausibility of action is in the dumps. The comic stuff is strained and absolutely not funny, more like sad. Seeing aged actors trying to be funny is probably one of the worst things you could do with your precious time. Five minutes into this film I already knew what I was in for, but I stayed with it, because "it's so bad, it's good." Like for example, when a scene is set up to have the 5 Parisian low-lifer bad guys land in a super-rough Chicago hood and face a band of black thugs. The black guys only had knives (right!) and the French dudes had the guns. HAHAHA-funny! Paleeese!

    The producer and director obviously has the right connections to the money and the stars. If they would've attempted to make this film with unknown actors by an unknown director it probably wouldn't have made it past the script stage. It looks and feels like a generally amateurishly constructed low-budget independent fare, except with big name actors and a big budget.

    How do big names like Gerard Depardieu and Harvey Keitel get involved in this kind of turd totally escapes me. One would think they had better taste and a sort of responsibility to deliver to audiences worldwide who based on their attachment might just check out this worthless pieces of you-know-what. Is it the old thing about "well, on paper it looked good…"?

    How do "directors" like this get work in Hollywood? How do these movies get made? Who do you sleep with or lunch with in order to get such an amateurish, pathetic, awful, boring film made in the 21st century?

    I'm a filmmaker and what really fraggin pees me off in this equation is that fact that it probably cost 60 mil to make and you could have made 6 really good movies for that. At least.

    Avoid this film unless you want to study HOW not to make a film.
  • dtketterer20 September 2004
    If the director of this movie (whose obscurity to me is such that, seeing it two minutes ago, I've already forgotten his name) has ever seen a Guy Ritchie movie, he is trying to mimic it. The problem is that he had neither the budget, nor the quality script, nor the finesse to manage the style that Ritchie indulges in.

    The technical flaws are evidence of a careless crew; Ritchie's style is so impeccable that there can be no failure of transition, no awkward cuts or slow moments. I can only assume that budgetary constraints were a limit here, because any self-respecting director would re-shoot the flawed scenes if he had the capacity to do so.

    The characters have no originality or dimension - you have the dumb robber, the dumb hired brute, the cocky (and dumb) American crimelord, and the dumb, loose woman. Redundant, you think? Stupidity is only funny if some hapless character with intelligence is submerged in it, not when a mass of idiots fumbles its idiot way through the plot. The lack of substance to the characters is not only appalling of itself, the dialogue can't begin go any farther than the personalities reciting it.

    And if this weren't enough, the director himself doesn't know what he's doing. The scene construction is ridiculous: one thing happens, concludes (maybe), then another thing happens, with no purpose of transition or changeover. During the second thing, the world of the first thing (usually in the same room) is put on total standby until the director feels it is time for the next purposeless changeover.

    I didn't have the stomach for more than forty minutes of "Crime Spree." The ineptitude demonstrated on virtually all levels of production (a talented cast doing what it can with so little is perhaps the only exception) makes this movie a total failure.
  • athena2412 September 2006
    This time I absolutely agree with the major rating for this movie. This movie is not as good as some say. And definitely not in the same league as Guy Ritchie's 'Snatch' and 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels', though same style and idea.

    Crime Spree starts very promising. It has very funny moments at the beginning, and I thought it would be like the movies mentioned above, but it spoils in the middle. The plot is not as sophisticated as in Guy Ritchie's movies, but this is not the week spot of the movie. The character development is. Unlike 'Snatch', where we have definite kind of behavior for each of the character, here the characters change throughout the movie, definitely no in their favor. The funny characters become serious and stop being funny.

    Some of the jokes repeat themselves from 'Snatch' and 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'.
  • Johnny Hallyday,Renaud , Gérard Depardieu,Richard Bohringer and Stéphane Freiss together with Harvey Keitel !! And you have a black comedy about French thieves who made a great mistake and have troubles with a maffia boss !! Crime Spree is really a good and funny comedy.
  • Crime Spree is a dark crime comedy about a group of French thieves getting into trouble in the US after a job goes sour and this movie is f-ing awesome! It is amazing that this film got stuck under the radar and almost faded into obscurity.

    Let us start with two notable participants: Harvey Keitel and Gérard Depardieu. These two people are a treat to watch and comedy suits them well, but it is nice that they do not overstay their welcome in scenes and there is a large supporting cast who also do a good job, though some do it better than others. One of the protagonists is Albert Dray, who is an obscure actor outside of France, but he gets a good amount of screen time and his appearance as a short nice guy really adds to the character of the main group to which he belongs. Another notable appearance is Abe Vigoda as a crime boss. He is not on screen for long but for long enough to be awesome. There is a Hispanic gang member that wasn't even part of any jokes but made me laugh with just his facial expressions and hand gestures.

    The only problem is that the main protagonists are not very fleshed out. There are quite a few of them and you do not learn much about their background. One of the thief protagonists dies mid-movie and I wasn't even sure who it was and when he entered the movie.

    The dialogue is smart and flows well. The jokes are subtle but still good. Sometimes they hit you 30 seconds after the fact. Sometimes they only work if you understand a little bit about the movie's background or the cultural differences. Perhaps this is another one of the movie's flaws, probably prompting a lot of the humour to go over people's heads. The humour would work if all the people involved were really famous and the cultural nuances were all well-known stereotypes, but the movie is at times too subtle and obscure for its own good.

    Let me tell you something and see if you are still on board. Half of the movie is in French with English subtitles. If you are already hesitating about this movie based on this information then it is probably not for you. It is that kind of movie with a foreign taste and a special peculiarity.

    Camera work is notably interesting. There is for example a continuous shot of a group of guys moving from room to room as the camera follows them from above going over the walls. No cuts. There are smart shots like panning over into the sky of one city and then panning back down to see another city.

    In general, you can sense the effort behind the film. There is a scene at one point in which one of the thieves needs to steal a wallet from a stranger. The thief bumps into the guy on a street and makes a move for the wallet. Now, how would this end in your typical American crime comedy? The thief would skilfully pull out the wallet (although slapstick may be involved) and the victim would not notice it and would keep on walking. In this movie however, the victim does notice and naturally starts running after the thief, though in the end the thief still gets wallet. This short chase scene did not need to be added. It takes more effort to add it. However, it does feel more natural, realistic and in line with the movie's premise that the thieving protagonists are bad at what they do.

    I heard about the similarities with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels but I watched that movie, and although it does run in much the same way, I like Crime Spree better. I did not laugh once during Lock Stock, but I did during this movie. And there are so many movies like Lock Stock now that you cannot call it plagiarism. It is just its own genre now.

    Crime Spree is a smart movie, perhaps a little too smart at times. It does not bring any revolutionary changes to the crime comedy formula, but is funny and well-made and is most definitely recommended.
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