"Full of Holes"
What You Need To Know:
HEIST is very entertaining at the most superficial of levels, but it has as many plot holes as it has twists. Filmed in Montreal, Canada, the photography in HEIST does not draw attention to itself, and the soundtrack is generally engaging and appropriate, but that is as far as it goes, because the weakest link is the poor writing and uneven direction of usually reliable writer and director David Mamet, who serves up too many cute gimmicks while creating plot holes large enough to drive the proverbial truck through each one of them. Sadly, HEIST also winds up being morally bankrupt because it says that crime does indeed pay.
(PaPa, Ab, LLL, VVV, S, A, D, MM) Pagan world view & prayer is alluded to several times, but is dismissed as a worthless ritual; at least 30 obscenities & 1 profanity; extreme violence including explosions, shootings, fist fighting, & the use of drugs to render people unconscious; movie implies fornication is about to occur; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, stealing, adultery & movie says that crime does indeed pay.
HEIST is very entertaining at the most superficial of levels, and actors like Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito and Delroy Lindo do their best to improve the overall results through the sheer strength of their acting skills. Regrettably, the real heist is perpetrated on the unsuspecting audience who is regrettably conned out of a good plot by so many sleights of hand and questionable plot twists which would make even the Great Houdini snicker in disbelief. Most unfortunate, however, is the continuation of Hollywood’s latest trend to violate one of its oldest unwritten rules, and that is that crime does not pay.
Joe Moore (Gene Hackman) is the leader of a talented and experienced crime crew, but the man is getting old, so they all seem to be saying, and, in the latest jewelry store robbery, a security camera catches him red handed. It is now only a matter of time before the law will finally come knocking, unless he can cash in the loot and quickly get out of town. To his great frustration, and that of his crew, Joe’s fence, Bergman (played by Danny DeVito) will not give him his money unless he pulls one last job, stealing a valuable gold shipment from a jet aircraft parked at a commercial airport before it gets a chance to take off. Just to make sure nobody pulls something funny, Bergman wants one of his own lieutenants, Jimmy Silk (played by Sam Rockwell) added to the crew. Jimmy is the obtuse fly in the ointment who may not be too swift on his feet, but more than compensates for it with his youth and good looks. As the crew begins the meticulous preparations for HEIST, Jimmy’s sex appeal does not go unnoticed by Joe’s young wife Fran (played by Rebbeca Pidgeon), who, in the middle of it all, keeps trying to decide whether she would prefer her man to have brains over looks, or looks over brains.
After seeing HEIST, it was hard not to want to reminisce about previous Gene Hackman vehicles such as THE FRENCH CONNECTION or GET SHORTY (which also starred Danny DeVito), because a movie is only truly satisfying when both the talent of its cast is closely matched with the quality of the script. HEIST fails in as many ways as it has plot twists. In the beginning, it seems to want to succeed without resorting to the standard dosage of violence, sex and obscene language, but before the final minutes have run, it has completely betrayed itself and wholeheartedly given in to stooping to conquer. Delroy Lindo as Joe’s powerful and resourceful sidekick, and Rebecca Pidgeon as the beautiful but cold hearted young wife are both competent, as is Patty Lupone of EVITA stage fame as a customs officer, and Ricky Jay as the unflappable but forlorn member of the crew, Pinky Pinkus, although he slightly overplays his role.
Filmed in and around Montreal, Canada, the photography in HEIST smartly does not draw attention to itself, and the soundtrack is generally engaging and appropriate, but that is as far as it goes, because the weakest link is the poor writing and uneven direction of usually reliable writer and director David Mamet, who serves up too many cute gimmicks while creating plot holes large enough to drive the proverbial truck through each one of them. Sadly, in the end, HEIST winds up being a long morally bankrupt gimmick itself.