Out of Sight Reviews
On the outside, the romance between Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney is flooded with clichés. An underappreciated FBI agent falls for the very guy she's trying to take down. It's been done a thousand times over, and it's not like this time it's all that groundbreaking. But their romance is well-acted on both sides. Clooney does as good as he can playing bad-boy Jack Foley, but I'm not sure I can ever accept that face of his as an antagonist. And Lopez, who isn't known for her acting, is actually quite good as Karen Sisco.
Unsurprisingly for a Soderbergh film, the cast as a whole is phenomenal. Clooney, Lopez, Cheadle, Zahn, Rhames, Keener, Farina, Brooks, Davis, Keaton, and the one and only Samuel L. Jackson round out one of the best ensemble casts of all time. The best part is, no one takes their jobs too seriously, but well enough to be effective.
As I previously mentioned, Soderbergh's directing is a little dated. Part of it is because the way films were made in the 90's was way different than it is now. For one, the music they used seemed like something out of a cheesy adult film. I mean that in the most respectful way possible, it's just the vibe I got from it. The editing is also something I couldn't entirely get behind. It's obviously intentional on Soderbergh's part, but the weird pauses in shots before transitions to a new scene just seemed weird.
With that said, Out of Sight is undeniably fun, smart, and re-watchable. There isn't a whole lot more you can ask from a movie. It's no Oceans' Eleven, but it's definitely something worth watching.
It's got a good cast and a good setup. Unfortunately, 'Out of Sight' fails to live up to this, with a movie that just didn't grab my attention at all. Not one of Soderbergh's best, unfortunately.
"Out of Sight," one of the finest comedy thrillers in a decade full of them, never stops the crime train for a minute and never allows for us to let our guards down. It is a film that rides high on the fumes of witty exchanges and effortless self-regard, just three-dimensional enough to get away with being so damn artificially snappy and just artificial enough to three-dimensionalize the fact that this is a movie, just one that happens to be remarkably and irrepressibly engaging.
It is also widely touted as the role that made George Clooney a star and got him thrown into the typecast hell of playing charming, devil-may-care sinners. In "Out of Sight," he portrays Jack Foley, a bank robber so confident that the majority of his career has gone without gun use - he can easily convince a teller of a threat without actually having to prove himself. As the film opens, he's pulling yet another quick job (he's lost count) that travels down the wrong path after his car refuses to start. He's escaped jail time for years, with past encounters lasting long and throbbing with emptiness. This time, he refuses to give up. So he cooks up an escape plan that, more or less, works.
But as his right-hand man, Buddy (Ving Rhames), waits outside the prison grounds for his partner-in-grime to jump out of a clichéd underground tunnel, U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) is also passing the time in her car; and though she has a shotgun in hand, her attempts to thwart Jack and Buddy mid-escape fail. She is kidnapped, thrown into the trunk of her own car with Jack, with Buddy driving away into the night.
But something strange happens: Jack and Karen find themselves liking each other, not in the way pals do but in the manner middle-schoolers dream of. Their trunk conversations consists not of threats and faux pas but of easygoing small-talk (Faye Dunaway, for instance, is a topic). It's a shame that she sides with the law and he smirks at it; then maybe they'd have something.
Yet even after escape ensues and separation becomes reality, the two are still fascinated by one another, chance encounters fueling their flirtations as Jack eventually turns toward another job with Karen hot on his trail, in the throes of investigation but also of sexual interest. At its heart, "Out of Sight" is a caper - but it's more fascinating when focused on the cat-and-mouse romance between its sexy leads, who have such crackling repartee that a mere glance emits a spark.
Despite the linkage that almost immediately connects the two before first viewing, I was not reminded of "Pulp Fiction" while watching "Out of Sight" but of "Jackie Brown." This is the second time I've watched the film (the first being three summers ago), and more apparent to me is Steven Soderbergh's tight handling of a screenplay with a lot of characters, subplots, and misunderstandings. Like Tarantino, he doesn't figure a drawn-out scene regarding character quirks is such a bad thing - it provides dimension that ultimately makes the movie funnier. As we get to know the people involved, the more they seem like human beings (just catered with awesome dialogue) who commit crime for a living only because there isn't anything else to do. But then there's Lopez as the good guy, who bears noticeable self-possession that is thunderously carnal but also subtly infuriating - why doesn't she make more movies like this? Clearly, she can hold her own next to big names.
By its end, "Out of Sight" only slightly flies of the rails and loses some of its steam, but it hardly undoes the vibrancy seen previously. This is a movie that sees dialogue as a virtue, characters as people and not objects. I am in awe of its intelligence, the way it so whole-heartedly refuses to commit to genre norms. It takes familiar characteristics and renews them, freshly and unpredictably.