Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Heist ★★

Image result for Heist film Gene Hackman stills

    Joe Moore is so cool that when he sleeps, "the sheep count him." Whatever that means.

    Mr. Moore is the central character in the 2001 caper film entitled "Heist." It was written and directed by David Mamet. This is a picture with an exceptional group of actors, that, unfortunately, do not live up to their previous Oscar worthy performances. A lack of quality writing and direction leave these characters one-dimensional, and, quite frankly, unexciting. 

    "Heist" opens up with Joe Moore, and his crew of flunkies, attempting a robbery on a local jewelry shop in New York City. They are successful, however, after one employee is still conscious due to their inept plan, he has to take action by subduing her, and he is ultimately seen on camera. This action of being "burned" (or being caught) fuels the plot throughout the picture and gives Joe a reason to get out of the game for good. Joe's fence has other ideas, however, and when he finds out Joe's plan to run, he withholds the profit from the previous gig.

    The fence has set up another robbery, which involves a Swiss airplane that contains gold in the cargo. He insists Joe and his crew take this last heist if Joe plans to sail off into the sunset with any kind of spending money. This will be the main heist that sends Joe Moore and his crew on a road filled with twists and turns until the bitter end. 

    The cast in this film are extremely talented and have proven so in many instances. Joe Moore is played by the well-known actor Gene Hackman, who extracts as much substance from this character that is humanly possible. Joe Moore is completely one-dimensional; his only care is money, which he makes abundantly clear in the opening minutes when he states the only love of importance is the "love of gold." (Not to mention the fact that he sends his wife into a promiscuous situation, with no thought or care, just to tactically complete a plan of action.) Hackman does show shades of brilliance, but, ultimately, they are drowned out by a rather dull character.

    Danny Devito plays Mickey Bergman, the fence for Joe and his crew. It is a small and defined role for Devito, who just simply tries to keep Joe in check and hopefully reap a share of Swiss gold. Bobby Blane is Joe Moore's faithful and longtime sidekick, and he is played by Delroy Lindo. Lindo is another very talented actor whose talents are suppressed and taken for granted.  The rest of the cast includes some forgettable names--especially Sam Rockwell--who is laughable in his role as Jimmy Silk, Bergman's nephew, who tags along on the final heist to ensure Joe stays true. 

    At its core, "Heist" has an exceptional plot and could seemingly be a great movie. A weak script and unmotivated actors could be the reason for this film's demise. Also not helping the cause are many absurd, and laughable, scenes, which involve inquiring police officers and several examples of horrendous acting. I will have to disagree with Mr. Roger Ebert and any serious film critic who gives this film a rave review. "Heist" does not exceed in any area of film-making, and an older Gene Hackman does not have enough firepower to otherwise mask these flaws. 

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