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The Good Thief (2002)

Double Down, LHomme de la riviera (France)

He doesn’t want money. He wants what money can’t buy.

Directed by:

Neil Jordan

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 108 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: Canada, France, Ireland, United Kingdom

With over 30 years of thesping under his belt, you’d think Nick Nolte would have learned by now how to project his lines. He’s received a fair bit of praise for his performance in this inconsistent heist movie, but personally I couldn’t help but wish he’d occasionally try opening his mouth when he speaks. It’s a good job DVDs these days come with a subtitle option.

Nolte mumbles and grumbles his way through the role of Bob, a grizzled ex-con and heroin addict who finds the temptation of pulling off one last big-time burglary too much to resist. So, having shaken off his drug addiction armed with little more than a set of handcuffs and a tub of ice-cream (who needs the Betty Ford clinic, eh?), he gathers together some French chums and sets about planning the robbery of a Monte Carlo casino.

Most of the French cast (each of whom are considerably easier to understand than Nolte) turn in less-than-convincing performances, and Georgian leading lady Nutsa Kukhianidze for the most part does a great impression of a wooden post. Ralph Fiennes pops up briefly in an uncredited role as a slightly homicidal art dealer, and once again proves that he’s at his most impressive when asked to play it pathological.

The overall tone of the film isn’t quite as bleak as it often seems, and as a drama it just about works – but the heist side of the plot is riddled with holes and eventually draws to a virtually unfathomable conclusion.

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It's Got: An arachnophobic bodybuilding post-op trannie.

It Needs: To be watched with the subtitles switched on.

DVD Extras Some trailers and production notes. Yawn. DVD Extras Rating: 2/10

Alternatives:

Bob Le Flambeur, Ocean's Eleven, Ripley's Game

Summary

Always dark, often grimy, and never particularly interesting. Give it a go from the rental store, but don’t waste your money on buying it.

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