Projections - Movie Reviews
The Ladykillers
The Ladykillers
Starring Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall, Marlon Wayans, J.K. Simmons, Tzi Ma, Ryan Hurst

Tom Hanks stars in Ethan and Joel Coen’s remake of the 1955 Alec Guiness comedy.

He plays Goldwait Higginson Dorr, a phoney professor who has enough quirks and goofy mannerisms for at least three different characters. He wears a white 3 piece suit not unlike Colonel Sanders’ favorite outfit and sports a pointy goatee and tightly curled hair, all of which gives him the appearance of a man from a by-gone era.

He’s vary much at home in the present day, however because he’s planned a casino heist. The vault of the gambling river boat is located in an underground room, and the Professor has found the perfect access to it.

Dorr rents a room from the kindly widow, Mrs. Munson (Irma P. Hall) and he uses his flowery speech to convince her to use her root cellar for his group of musicians to practice “Renaissance” music.

The Professor, of course is more interested in the proximity of the cellar to the vault, which is just a tunnel away. He brings in his gang of misfits who dig away, while the unsuspecting Mrs. Munson is upstairs either talking to a portrait of her dead husband, or entertaining her church ladies with afternoon tea.

Mrs Munson is a well drawn and believable character, everyone else is over-the-top and ridiculous. There’s Pancake (J.K. Simmons), and accident-prone explosives expert with irritable bowel syndrom, the General (Tzi Ma), a man of many cigarettes and few words, Lunp, a dim-witted football player who does the grunt work and Gawain (Marlon Wayans), a jive-talking casino custodian who never met a dirty word he didn’t like.

The gospel music which almost continually plays in the background is lively and fun and the plot is wonderfully inventive. I especially liked Mrs. Munson, who appeared to be an old lady who could be easily fooled, but was actually in total control.

It was also great seeing Hanks as a completely silly character, but the rest of the gang were just downright annoying, and in the case of Gawain, totally unnecessary.

The Ladykillers

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