Most helpful critical review
"The how? Well... there, as the Bard says, is the stupidity.."
on 5 June 2015
I missed this film first time around, and ended up watching it yesterday as it appeared on a top ten "heist movies" list (and the fact that said list didn't contain Michael Mann's Thief probably should have set some alarm bells ringing). Really this belongs at the top of moronic heist movies ever made list, because all manner of brilliant performances, dialog and direction can't detract from the absolute face palming stupidity of the plot.
Now I can suspend my belief for movies, no problem, but there are limits - and these limits typically end where I'm required to swallow the fact that human beings are so unutterably stupid that they can't tell when a store room has been made a sixth smaller. 90 frigging minutes. I wait nearly 90 minutes, and that's the epic, perfect "master" plan?!? And as if that's not bad enough, the cops are then so completely incompetent, that they just give up trying to find this guy who they know for a FACT did not leave the building. They throw in the towel quicker than a 3-star rated Grand Theft Auto police department after a car spray job. Do they get blueprints for the building? No. Do they check vents, vaults, or any potential evident hiding places? No. Do they bring in thermal imaging equipment? No. And also, knowing for a FACT that at least three of the people who walked out the door are involved, do they set up any kind of surveillance on those they might suspect after their interviews? No. They just plain give up. On the whole thing. "Forget it!" says the super. "No crime has been committed!" Yes, that's right... no crime at all, oh erm... apart from those 25 people held hostage, beaten, threatened and dragged around at gunpoint, maybe? It truly is eye-rollingly stupid.
It's literally as stupid as this: "I committed the perfect robbery. What did I do? Well, stalled for time, painted myself brown and green, and then when the cops stormed the building I stood in a corner pretending to be a pot plant. A week later, I simply walked out of the front door."
I'm not sure what the film is trying to do: insult the intelligence of the New York police department, or insult the combined intelligence of the world's movie going public. Either way, it's an overwhelming success. It's almost as if Spike Lee comes straight into your living room, calls you a dick, and then runs off stealing three quid as he goes. This is NOT a good heist movie, it's an insanely idiotic one. So if you like idiotic heist movies, this will be right up your alley. If not, and you have a wonky table to wedge, or require a coaster with Denzel Washington's head on, three quid is not a bad price.