Runtime: 90 Mins
What To Expect: An expletive-laden Ocean’s 11
There’s an exchange in this movie between Jay Baruchel and a border cop. In an attempt to distract the cop, Baruchel initiates a conversation about Predator 2. “I have something to tell you – I like Predator 2”. “Yeah!”, comes the surprised yet agreeing response, the cop now firmly focused on something other than his job. “I liked Predator 2. Danny Glover, you can’t go wrong”. It’s one of the little things about this movie that come pretty often which keep it from slipping into mediocrity, but only just. This is a heist comedy starring Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon and Terence Stamp and it just about works.
The movie sees ‘Crunch’ Calhoun (Kurt Russell) and half brother Nicky Calhoun (Matt Dillon) and their group of misfit and somewhat incompetent thieves attempt to steal an extremely rare and valuable book, then sell it for 1.5 million. This was a small project, not quite DTV, that flew under the radar. The type of movie where the script rather than the payday attracted the cast. It’s a guy movie with guy humor, like a Rated-R Ocean’s 11. It knows what its audience wants. I mean, just when you think it’s going to go down the sappy sentimental monologue route, it comes out of left field with Manly, if slightly crude, humor. The fight scene between Dillon and Russell – great timing and delivery.
The main problem here though aside from the somewhat constrained resources, is the story. It creaks and buckles, especially in the third act where the movie feels anti climatic and unfinished. Sometimes, it gets too ahead of itself and doesn’t really resolve itself as a premise. To cover that they seemed to have upped the ante and improved the pacing, it’s a fun 90 minutes. They didn’t sell out with the ending either, it’s unconventional and I doubt it would’ve happened in a movie with a larger budget. And it also helps that the cast isn’t phoning it in. And phoning it in is usually expected when iconic stars take on smaller movies these days, all are having fun. It’s good see Terence Stamp too! Is it just me or is this guy not seen enough these days? Curb your expectations, find a six pack and The Art of Steal might surprise you.
You can’t go wrong with a heist movie usually. Especially one that references Predator 2 as being underrated. Not a waste of time.