It isn't love that makes the world go round.
Veteran thief, Joe Moore (Gene Hackman), is a pro who has done his last job. Now he just wants to get out of the business and sail off in to the sunset. But with his "fence", Bergman (Danny DeVito), holding back on the money from the last robbery, Joe and his team are not going anywhere - not until they pull off the mother of all heists. To ensure Moore and his team do the job his way, Bergman is sending his young, arrogant nephew, Jimmy Silk, to oversee it. With little respect and a thin veil of trust hanging over the job, pulling off the heist is the least of Moore's fears.
Things I learned from Heist:
1. To commit a robbery, once must always employ an explosion as distraction.
2. I should shave my fucking moustache.
This is Mamet unchained! There are a handful of writers working today that have such a distinct voice and style that you can tell who wrote the screenplay after only a couple of lines. Tarantino, Sorkin, and Mamet all come to mind. All also write mostly masculine, cut throat dialogue. Well I got news for you. Mamet script would make any of those other scripts its bitch. Mamet is as hardcore as it comes and he lets it all hang out in this film.
Heist is, believe it or not, a heist film. It is also, wait for it, a heist film that cons the viewer. Of course you know this going into a post modern heist film, so you…
My motherfucker's so cool, when he goes to bed, sheep count him. Mamet's most quotable film this side of the "always be closing" scene.
With David Mamet directing from his own script and a cast including Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito and Sam Rockwell I had high expectations for Heist; expectations that it failed to live up too. The biggest problem is the script: it’s overly verbose and full of meaningless phrases repeated ad nauseam. At several points it came across as a parody of the slick heist film it was trying to be. Throw in plenty of pointless twists on top of twists and you end up with a needlessly convoluted plot that starts to fall apart at the seams.
By and large I think the cast do an admirable job with what they are given, but it’s too little to save a film that seems far too pleased with itself, without really having any good reason to be.
Heist doesn't really add anything new to the heist film genre. It's got the typical "master thief wants to get out of the business, gets lured in, shenanigans occur" story. It's got your basic three-part story: setting up the heist, pulling off the heist, and the aftermath of the heist. It's got a bevy of alliance changes with nearly every character trying to double-cross the other characters at least one point in the film. So why did I enjoy it so much?
Well, the acting's really good for one. It's well-cast with Gene Hackman leading the show. There's good performances all around with Danny DeVito, Delroy Lindo, Ricky Jay, Rebecca Pidgeon, and the almost-always immaculate Sam Rockwell. The dialogue is…
OK, I think I've got this: A gets B, C, D and E to rob a plane, but C double-crosses D, hooks up with F, but he's been triple-crossed by D, who with B and E perform a quadruple-cross and D and F, no, G and H, hitmen for A…um, and they quintuple-cross D, but I and B or D…no, C sells out, no, that's F, and the gold…no, E, no, G. No, B. No, A…no, B…fdssajlkasdf…excuse me while I take an aspirin.
I hated this movie in 2002, but I was a stupid teen back then.
You're driving a clunker that's running on empty but somehow feels like a Maserati breaking 125. Smooth and dense with deliciously turned phrases, but the great Mametian thriller is pushed into parody by way of 2,000 plot twists that eventually elicit barely more than a shrug. <3 the Hack Man
For those who watched David Mamet, this film is a very usual film by him.
A few likeable criminals need to pull off a heist, and on the way multiple red herrings and twists and turns happens.
Gene Hackman leads a group of thieves who in order to get their money for their last heist, need to rob a large amound of gold from an airplane.
What follows is Hackman's group, which also unwittingly had to include their fence's nephew (the fence is Danniy DeVito, the nephew Sam Rockwell) in the crew.
Multiple twist, back stabs and tricks as Mamet's usual script does.
The thing is the film just does not have the full urgency or complexity. It did not thrill me. It was enjoyable to watch at home, and the twists are nice to wonder and go over in your head, but the film was just missing something. Something I can't quite explain.
Mamet writes the most wonderful dialogue, constructed with wit and intelligence, in a time before these things were considered expendable.
All the best David Mamet movies are enigmas, you're never 100% sure what's going on and who is getting conned. If you've watched enough Mamet movies you know you have to pay attention - to keep from getting conned. Even then, if you're not careful you'll be played for a sucker.
Knowing this, Heist is one of Mamet's best which makes this romp thoroughly entertaining. All the usual Mamet suspects are there, Rebecca Pidgeon, Ricky Jay and a host of great guest marquee and character actors.
Centered around a career criminal and master thief (Gene Hackman), when security cameras finally capture his face on the unintended last heist of his career, who is asked to do the "Swiss" job for…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Gene Hackman is a thief who wants to retire, but has to do the fabled "one last job". Not unlike previous David Mamet movies such as House of Games and The Spanish Prisoner, this is the type of story where there are double-crosses on top of double-crosses. But unlike 'Prisoner', Heist miscalculates how many fake-outs we are willing to swallow. Still, crackling performances (from Hackman and Danny DeVito in particular) and Mamet's trademark dialogue kept me engrossed when the twists didn't.
Mamet can get kind of lost up his own ass with clever one-liners and wordsmithiness, with this being no execution. It's to many people's credit that the script's still very entertainingly realized, it's surprisingly grim for a caper yet sporting a healthy, wry sense of humor, and the production even finds room to minimize what must be the inherent obnoxiousness of Sam Rockwell. This was a tempered, terse shoot for Gene Hackman due to Mamet's questionable brand of indulgence, I'm sure, and that uneasiness kind of gravitated over to me now under the realization Mamet doesn't seem to have much in the pipeline anymore.
Between this and The Score, '01 wasn't a bad year for heist movies, come to think of it. This one was another firmly written, directed and acted crime game from famed cinematic schemer David Mamet. The badass Gene Hackman going head to head with Danny Devito at his deviant best (or rather, head to chest, since Danny doesn't quite reach) is what particularly sold the whole thing for me, along with Mamet's usual clever plotting and great dialogue. The ending is a bit predictable once the final act winds down, but it all comes together as an entertaining thriller, breezy and cool as you'd expect of the genre. After all - everyone loves a badass thief. That's why they call them badass thieves.