Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Katie Holmes
Runtime: 1h 58mins
I’ll try to make this brief. There’s already plenty of reviews for Soderbergh’s “out of retirement” film and quite frankly I don’t feel it’s worth in-depth scrutiny.
Suffice to say, this tame crime-caper involving the theft of piles of cash underneath Charlotte Motor Speedway involves quite a lot of easy coincidences, and not much thinking on the audience’s part. It tugs at heart-strings like a candidate at the RNC. What it doesn’t do is go any deeper than a puddle.
Once again, I am left questioning why a film is getting such rave reviews everywhere. Soderbergh has done much better than this, as far as something along the lines of a crime-styled film. “The Underneath,” “The Limey,” even the disappointing “Side Effects” had far more style, substance, and emotion than this bone-dry dull comic effort.
The director spends too much time showing random shots of child pageant preparations, tracks being covered, in-joke conversations, a prison “riot” created as distraction (very common in nowadays films), and assorted odd bits (nail-polish painted roaches, for example) than he does the actual crime, which becomes an afterthought.
I’ve read a lot about Craig’s performance as Joe Bang, a “safecracker” expert. Well first off, he’s badly miscast (as is that terrible blonde-haircut) and I’ve yet to understand why his character needed busting out of jail (temporarily) as was why the lead man needed his brother to go inside…for all he actually did, Bang could have written what was needed on a napkin. The script-writers also seem to think Charlotte is just over the line from West Virginia; Bang and older brother Logan were only supposed to be gone for hours, not several days.
I’ve read reviews claiming this film is a laugh-riot. Not even close, people, and my sense of humor is quite sharp; the few chuckles coaxed from me would fly right over most movie-goers’ heads.
When I first learned of this film, it didn’t sound very clever or interesting. My intuition was correct; ignore the crazy reviews. Seriously I’ve no clue who this was geared for. It’s not a comedy at all, it’s not thrilling, it’s not suspenseful and it’s certainly not dramatic by any stretch. Not even the charm of a little girl singing “Take Me Home, Country Road” saves this one.