There's a jittery energy to this film that perfectly matches Roy's personality, cleverly directed by Scott, photographed by John Mathieson and edited by Dody Dorn, along with Hans Zimmer's seductive underscore and a finger-snapping soundtrack of Frank Sinatra, Herb Alpert and Bobby Darin tunes. It's witty, seductive and thoroughly engaging, especially with a sharply measured performance from Cage, who's well matched with the eccentric Rockwell and the spirited Lohman. Unusually for Scott, there's a solid emotional resonance in Roy's internal journey. In many ways, this is Scott's best film yet (and this is the guy who made Alien, Blade Runner and Thelma & Louise; I refuse to mention Gladiator). So it's a real disappointment when the plot takes over from the much more compelling character comedy-drama. Soon everything else is in the back seat as the big heist comes down--and it's far too complicated and overwrought for either Roy or this film to handle! Suddenly we are more worried about when (not if) there's going to be a big double-cross twist somewhere, just as massive plot holes start to emerge that rely on frankly unbelievable coincidences. It's still entertaining and extremely engaging, but before the Hollywood movie machine took over, this had the potential to be a real gem.
dir Ridley Scott|
scr Nicholas Griffin, Ted Griffin
with Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman, Bruce Altman, Bruce McGill, Beth Grant, Melora Walters, Steve Eastin, Lynn Ann Leveridge, Jerry Hauck, Tim Maculan, Daniel Villarreal
release US 12.Sep.03; UK 19.Sep.03
Anxiety attack: Cage and Rockwell
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