Projections - Movie Reviews



Writer/director David Mamet's signature rat-a-tat, in-your-face dialogue is out in full force in his new caper film.

Some may find it stylish, but I'm distracted by the repetitive, clipped manner that passes for conversation.  One character says "You gonna do the thing?" (referring to the heist) and another says "You know you need to do that thing," and in quick succession, sometimes stepping on the last few words of another character.  And this doesn't just happen a couple of times, but throughout the film.

That being said, Mamet does corral a number of talented actors to tell his story.  Gene Hackman stars as Joe Moore, a thief who works with Bobby (Delroy Lindo), Pinky (Mamet regular Ricky Day) and his much younger wife Fran (Rebecca Pidgeon, the director's real life wife).

The film opens with Joe and crew robbing a jewelry store.  They work with precision; however, because of a small glitch, Joe's face ends up on a security camera, so he needs to take his share of the loot and leave the country pronto.

The sleazy set up guy, Mickey Bergmar (Danny DeVito) however needs Joe to do one more big job before he'll give him his cut, reminiscent of Robert DeNiro's recent The Score.

Because Joe needs the cash, he agrees to do it, but Mickey also forces him to take along his nephew, a punk named Jimmy (Sam Rockwell) as part of the deal.

The second heist is an elaborate scheme to steal gold bars from a Swiss cargo plane.  With phony uniforms, they work their way through a guarded gate at a Boston airport (and with the ease of entry, it must be Logan).

The small gang maneuver their van onto the tarmac, barring the jet from taking off.  Intercepting the towers' directives, they board the cargo hold and take their prize, without so much as a single airport employee checking out why the aircraft just cleared for take-off is still on the ground.

There's more double-crosses and twists than at a Chubby Checker oldies concert.  Hackman, as usual, handles everything that's thrown in his path, and then some.  And DeVito is a treat to watch; he's loving his jive talking baddie.

I loved the set-up, the switches and the characters, just clean up the dialogue and a couple of plot loopholes and you've got a real winner.


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