Pinky: My motherfucker is so cool, when he goes to bed, sheep count him.
What's great about David Mamet movies is the dialog. Everyone speaks the same language, they are all in the moment, and they all no exactly what the other means, even when it becomes cryptic or metaphoric.
Heist is appropriately slick because of the choice of actors and it a lot of fun to see everyone riff off of each other.
Gene Hackman and Delroy Lindo star as the thieves who have to take that one last job before retiring. Danny De Vito is their mean spirited employer. Sam Rockwell and Ricky Jay also step into the game for added coolness.
Bobby Blane: You know why the chicken crossed the road? Because the road crossed the chicken.
Many twists, double and triple crosses unfold, and everything is played very cool. There is even a sweet and realistic gun fight towards the end. Enjoyable and played out like a 70s crime movie with slick Mamet dialog.
Bergman: OK, you want to wrap it up? Or you want to just stand around here, try to guess my real name?
Joe Moore: What is your real name?
Joe Moore: What was it before you changed it?
On the plus side, there's the patented Mamet dialogue.
One of few heist films that start from a heist instead of building to a brand new one, Joe Moore (Gene Hackman), Bobby Blane (Delroy Lindo), Don "Pinky" Pincus (Ricky Jay) and Fran Moore(Rebecca Pidgeon) are not new to thieving, nor to teaming up with each other. In the middle of a jewelry heist, the aging Joe's face is caught on camera when a few steps go off plan. Joe decides this is the end for him, but Mickey Bergman (Danny Devito), who fences most of their loot, disagrees and insists that, before paying the group, they carry out one last heist: Swiss gold being brought in by airplane. Joe is against it and refuses and argues, but relents, and finds himself stuck with Mickey's rather green nephew Jimmy Silk (Sam Rockwell). Friction is generated between the two as Jimmy and his uncle believe Joe is off his game and Jimmy begins to pursue Joe's wife--fellow thief Fran.
I was reluctant to pick up this movie, on the fence because of the solid cast but familiar plot, until I noticed who wrote and directed: David Mamet. If you like Mamet's work (and you should, really), that's enough there, and when it's combined with something that is usually passably entertaining like a heist film and you're pretty well guaranteed good stuff. He keeps dialogue and plotting kinetic and exciting in whatever he does, and even when he doesn't keep you guessing, he fulfills expectations in the most satisfying ways. Mamet films are absolute pleasure, hitting the perfect balance of skill or talent and entertainment. For those who believe in such things, there is no need to bring up guilt with your pleasure, nor is there a need to worry that it will talk over you or just completely leave you in the dust. Your brain is engaged without being overwhelmed, and your appreciation and enjoyment are both satisfied. Your sympathies are put in the right places without the feeling of outright manipulation, as the characters pop and crackle with Mamet's most famous asset--witty dialogue--and become real enough, or at least strong enough projections, to carry all of their actions easily into the realms of believability. This speed and craft is most evident in a film based on deception and confidence games, as the characters slide from internal and real conversations with each other to blatant manipulation of external characters with barely a notice. And then in the third act, you realize that the internal dialogue wasn't always real either, and these characters are all constantly plotting, preparing and being in place for everyone and everything around them.
This is a potent and enjoyable example of heist films that outshines its fellows and manages to feel fresh and interesting and exciting despite coming so late to the party in a very specific genre, without having to resort to redesigning the concept of a heist film. And in many senses, it also manages to be exactly what its' title purports: a perfect crystallization of what heist films are defined as and should aspire to be.
It?s a decent movie to wrap your brain around, but only after you?ve seen the others. He can?t win them all.
Heist wasted no money on a fancy title. It is what it says it is - a movie about a heist. A group of professionals head by Joe (Gene Hackman) performs these elaborate robberies. Joining Joe are his wife, Fran (played by the very bland Rebecca Pidgeon), Bob (played by the always cool Delroy Lindo) and Pinky (Ricky Jay). They?ve been doing this for years and they do it well. Enter the set-up guy Mickey (Danny DeVito) who stiffs them on a job. He says he?ll make it up to them with another one, but his bumbling nephew, Jimmy (Sam Rockwell) has to come along.
The group sets out to plan this heist all the while knowing that something?s just not right with Jimmy. You get this feeling throughout the entire plan and execution. Jimmy?s obviously a doucebag and a stupid one at that. The first half to three-quarters of the film felt a little uneven to me. There were these really great scenes and then they were immediately followed by this lackluster, boring ones. Thankfully things came together (like a perfect heist) in the end and just with any great movie about the subject, you?re not sure if it?s over until the credits roll. Did Jimmy get one over on Joe? Or is Joe too smart for that? It?s like a big chess game.
For the most part, the actors did an alright job. Even though Hackman is definitely showing his age, he turned in a great performance and one of the most badass line deliveries ever. (XXX: Aren?t you going to hear my last words? Joe: I just did. *BLAM*) Rockwell felt like he was phoning in a lot of his scenes though. Granted, his character is supposed to look like he doesn?t really know what he?s doing, but it just felt like he wasn?t even trying half the time.
Heist has it?s flaws, but in the end, it?s a decent flick. If you?re a fan of Ocean?s Eleven or any other heist movie, you?ll dig this one, hands down.