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3.6 out of 5 stars117
3.6 out of 5 stars
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2013
Having been disappointed at missing Gambit when it was on at my local cinema a few months ago, I have now at last got round to watching it on DVD. My main criteria for watching this particular film is that I am an avid `Rickmaniac' (Alan Rickman fan) and, having got most of his films/TV work on DVD, felt I owed it to my allegiance to add this one too!

So, as Colin Firth himself said in an interview, this film is not ground-breaking - all the old `clichés' from 60s and 70s capers seem to be there, along with `Pink Panther'-style farces - from Colin Firth without his trousers (time to move over, Brian Rix ) to a dig at the Japanese, American, Germans and indeed Brits, with all their stereotypical idiosyncrasies to the fore. All that seems to be missing is Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau, complete with trilby hat, magnifying glass and his trademark distinctly ridiculous French accent. Then again, it's what we, as Brits, do best - the fact that we haven't really done so since the 60s and 70s is neither here nor there. The other fact being that the Coen brothers, who wrote the script, ironically, are in fact American. Then again, the original of this was made in the early 1960s (with Michael Cain and Shirley McClain in the lead roles, and I'm led to believe that the original writer was in fact English, though please don't quote me on that.)

The role of Harry Deane, the put upon Art Curator at the heart of the story, is not one that you would automatically think of Colin Firth for. And, although he does his very best, I spent most of the time I was watching him thinking that someone else (not sure who) might have been better. He wasn't terrible by any means but I personally think there are better comedic actors out there. Alan Rickman himself is larger than life as the selfish, arrogant media tycoon boss that Deane is trying to con, and Cameron Diaz plays her part well as the ditzy rodeo rider, `P.J' Puznowski, called in to help Deane. Maybe her 'Texan-ness' is somewhat over the top, but then again, I'm guessing that was deliberate too.

Without giving away too much of the plot, I have to say I found some of the first part of the film a little confusing, but once the penny dropped, it all fell into place and totally made sense.

However, side-splitting this film is not, but it does have its moments - such as a highly amusing scene in the Savoy Hotel foyer when two receptionists (superbly played by Pip Torrens and Julian Rhind-Tutt) get the wrong end of the stick re a conversation between P.J (Diaz) and Harry Deane: This is innuendo at it's very best and, in a way, the rest of the comedy from then on is a bit of a let down by comparison.

Whilst it would be fair to say that this film would be unlikely to make anyone's `Top 10' (or probably `Top 100' for that matter), I'm sure there must be worse ways to spend 85 minutes. I can honestly say it was a fun, cheery `caper' that certainly left more than a hint of a smile on my face. (Not least because you get to see Colin Firth sans trousers, and more of Mr. Rickman than most of his other films have revealed; the latter not necessarily a good thing at his age of 67, I hasten to add, but I admit to being easily pleased at my own age nowadays!) The twist at the end though is definitely worth waiting for and elevates the film to slightly more than your average comedy, e.g. it has a plot!

Quite what other reviewers have meant when they've said things like "the worst film ever" and "totally unfunny" (as some professional review claimed), I'm really not sure. Have they seen some of the movies out there? Trust me, this was one of Alan Rickman's better ones (though hardly a glamorous role, and playing a rather nasty character in a kind of endearing way that only he can) - and I should know - I've sat through them all!
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Knowing that the Coen brothers were behind this remake of the 1960's movie, we vaguely expected some of their trademark surreal strangeness. Instead Gambit is a very traditional British film which feels like it could have been made in Ealing, back in the day. It's all very low key, very wry; gently humorous in a self-mocking manner, with the occasional acerbic stab lurking in the beautifully understated lead performance from Colin Firth.
In fact, all of the leads are excellent; Alan Rickman and Firth play brilliantly off one another, and Cameron Diaz provides exactly the right amount of brash Murcan razzle-dazzle as the cowgirl who happens to be lending a hand with an audacious art theft. Stanley Tucci deftly carries off a ludicrously over the top caricature of an appalling international art boffin.
The true star is the script, however, which cheerfully ambles into the arena of traditional 'where's my trousers' farce without a hint of postmodernist cynicism. The scenes in the Savoy Hotel fall just on the right side of ridiculous, with double entendre tripping over outright innuendo at every turn.
There are few moments of shrieking hilarity in Gambit, but instead the 90 minutes has a cumulative feelgood effect, with a near-perfect payoff at the finale. A delightful, old fashioned comedy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This loose remake of the 1966 comedy starring Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine seems to make frequent references to "Pink Panther" material, from the opening titles to the obvious recycling of classic gags: the trouser-less man, the naked man in an everyday situation, the haughty hotel clerks, the stereotyped Japanese businessman, and so on. Some familiar names sleepwalked through this disappointing movie, perhaps not doing their reputations too much harm, but failing miserably to lift either the tone or the interest level. Sometimes even great actors are not enough to save a mediocre project, especially when on-screen chemistry is missing.

Very briefly, the story follows the efforts of one Harry Deane (a disgruntled art curator played by Colin Firth) to put one over his boorish and unpleasant employer (Alan Rickman) by tricking him into buying a fake Monet painting. Deane's ace-up-the-sleeve is the brilliant forger Major Wingate (Tom Courtenay) who can reproduce to order any old master, while his wild-card is a Texas rodeo queen called PJ Puznowski (Cameron Diaz) who poses as the naive owner of the lost painting. As in the original, the first part of the film shows the perfect execution of the fraud. Predictably, in real life the heist runs into problems and the comedy is supposed to come from the shifts to which Deane and his flamboyant accomplice are put in persisting with his stinker of a plan.

Most good movies are built around plots that are neither original nor brilliantly clever but have one essential ingredient: that vital spark that catches the attention of the viewer and makes you care about one or more of the characters so that you want to know what happens to them. In this case the spark, if it was there, eluded me. My impression was that a lot of visible effort went into utilising all known comedic gags (including some cringe-worthy British, Texan, German and Japanese cultural clichés) but the film's humour was simply not to my taste. It's quite sad that someone imagined that the sight of Alan Rickman's naked body (rear and front varieties) should be good for a laugh. His character was so cardboard that even his exquisite talent failed to rescue it and, frankly, he was unrecognisable throughout. Cameron Diaz is neither good nor bad, she delivers her lines and puts some energy into her performance but is not strong enough to lift the weight of a charmless script. Stanley Tucci is under-employed in a bit part of epic cheesiness. Colin Firth, whose dead-pan expression has been put to good comedic use in the past, here comes off as plain boring and his monochromatic performance glaringly exposes his acting limitations. In one scene he gets tangled up with a chair in trying to move it and his wooden fumblings, far from being funny, simply made me think, "Just leave it, will you?". One the main trailer scenes, where he loses his trousers while trying to hide on a building ledge, plainly demonstrates the kind of juvenile humour that drives the film. Perhaps Peter Sellers could have made it work, but Colin doesn't. In another scene, we are expected to dissolve into laughter when an older woman farts. You get the idea. The only bright spark is Tom Courtenay who is quietly fascinating and makes an interesting character out of almost nothing, his screen presence is magnetic. There is one funny scene in the Savoy hotel where, ironically, the humour is provided by two minor characters acting as reception staff.

So, all in all, I did not find this film amusing, in sharp contrast to Wild Target [DVD] which I really enjoyed. Tastes differ and I hope that my comments will allow you to decide whether this is the sort of thing you would like to watch.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2013
This movie is not brilliant and it delivers nothing new, but as it has been said before it is a traditional British comedy with some nice moments that make you smile.
There are some hilarious scenes (the Savoy Hotel)that even make you laugh out loud.
It is a must for fans of Colin Firth and Alan Rickman, who are great together. If you are not a fan it is still a movie for a nice evening with friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2014
Harry Deane (Colin Firth) wants to scam his boss Lionel (Alan Rickman) for no other reason than Lionel is not a nice man. He employes the help of Texan PJ (Cameron Diaz) to help him with the scam that runs into problems.

The film is reminiscent of a 60's style comedy. The main problem was Diaz's character whose accent and sayings were more cringe worthy than funny. The film makes good use of showcasing Diaz's gams, but outside of that, her character fell flat.

It is a comedy worth a view if you are looking for something amusing which doesn't require you to think too hard. I personally find "The Brothers Broom" a far superior scam flick.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs or sex. Diaz bra/panties. "Partial nudity" means Rickman's butt.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Gambit is a remake of an old Michael Caine film, where an art dealer (Firth) attempts to con his unbearable boss (Rickman) by enlisting the help of a beautiful, but slightly naïve, American cowgirl (Diaz). With those three names on the cast list, you know it's going to be good, especially when it's written by the - critically-acclaimed - Coen brothers. However, you may be wrong.

And it's not the fault of the actors. To put it simply, they're given very little to work with, script-wise. Cameron Diaz does what she does best, i.e. she's cute, a bit dippy, but thoroughly endearing nonetheless. Alan Rickman is...well, Alan Rickman - he's devious, cold-hearted and charming. Still, so far, so good, but then we come to Colin Firth - an actor who's proved his excellent credentials in numerous films. However, he's the protagonist here - attempting to basically rip-off his boss by foul means. Therefore, for us to feel sympathy towards him, we need to see him as more of a good-guy. Yet, he does very little to warm the audience towards him. He's spineless, a bit too weedy and, just because his boss isn't very nice, thinks he can take him for all he's worth. He doesn't even give us that many laughs (a few, but certainly not many). Unfortunately for him, Rickman steals the show and - despite obviously being the baddie - seems to charm the audience more than Firth can.

I know Gambit is supposed to be an addition to the long line of British `farce' films, but it does tend to rely a little too much on low-brow humour, rather than utilising the cast's natural talent. Also, because it's rated 12A, it can never really descend into the `gross-out' territory and do anything too risky.

Unfortunately, what you're left with is a very capable cast, being reduced to simply one of a number of stereotypes (the English are VERY English, Cameron Diaz is VERY Texan and the Japanese are VERY Japanese).

It's not a bad film. I quite enjoyed it, plus it doesn't drag itself out for too long. It's charming enough in its own way, only with the heavyweight names that go with it, it could have been so much more than just an excuse to watch Cameron Diaz in hotpants.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 May 2015
I spend a nice, relaxing moment watching this very honest comedy, even if it is not any kind of masterpiece. Below, more of my impressions, with some LIMITED SPOILERS.

British art curator Harry Deane (Colin Firth) works for a morbidly rich and horribly abusive man, media mogul Lord Lionel Shabandar (Alan Rickman). After years of suffering he decides to take revenge on his boss, by using his one Achilles heel - Monet. Indeed Shabandar is obsessed with Monet's paintings and especially he was hunting for years and years for a little known piece known as "Haystacks at Dusk", which was plundered by Goering in 1940, but vanished since 1945. To succeed Deane teams up with a master art forger known as the Major (Tom Courtenay) and a rodeo girl from Texas, a certain PJ Puznowski (Cameron Diaz), the granddaughter of American sergeant who supposedly was the last man to see the painting in 1945... The plan is to sell a supposedly miraculously found painting to Shabandar for a ridiculous amount of money... Of course, no plan survives intact the first moments of battle and therefore from the beginning virtually everything will go wrong...))) That covers the first two minutes of the film and then the story really begins.

This is the remake of a 1966 comedy under the same title with Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. I admit with some shame that I didn't see this film and therefore I cannot compare them - but this 2012 remake was quite entertaining and well done.

All the four main actors did really very well and once Stanley Tucci appears, in a couple of short but significant cameos, he is absolutely irresistible too...))) The scenario for this 2012 version was written by Coen brothers and you can instantly feel it, as characters are well worked out, dialogs are quite good and jokes are funny. There is only one scene in which the humour flies a little bit lower (it involves an embarassing wet spot on the pants of one of the characters) but it is not a very long one. There is no obscenities and nothing gross - in fact the film is so dignified, that one lonely f@rt joke sounds with nobility of a national anthem...))) There are also some rather surprising twists and the ending is not bad at all.

Summa summarum I liked this film, I laughed a lot and I spend a nice relaxing moment watching it. I may even keep the DVD for another viewing in the future. ENJOY!
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on 24 January 2014
Being a fan of both Cameron Diaz and Alan Rickman I decided to give this movie a chance, Colin Firth is always very hit and miss with me but in Gambit I found him to be okay.

Alan Rickman is an art collector who employes Colin Firth to check out different paintings checking that they are not fake, however Colin Firth feeling he is not making enough money from this is working on the side with a man who recreates famous expensive paintings then trying to sell them on to Alan Rickman for his collection. In order to pull this off for a famous haystacks dust painting he must hire Cameron Diaz to act as though the paining is hers in order to sell him this fake.

The movie takes a few twists and turns but is rather slow however it did surprise me in that I enjoyed it more than i thought i would and got more laughs from it than i thought i would have. Cameron Diaz plays a Texas cowgirl which adds some comedical value to the movie when shes put in these situations with these high class business people & fancy hotels.

If you want something your not going to have to think about a lot that you can just sit back and relax then this will do for you. A Rainy Sunday afternoon movie.
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VINE VOICEon 14 October 2013
I never saw the original "Gambit " film so I cant really say if this remake is as good as ,worse or better than it. The film was reasonably entertaining in an undemanding sort of way although I failed to find it in the slightest bit funny. There was a lot of cliched,slapstick sort of humour which I found to be totally unamusing. Cameron Diaz's character was over the top and I didn't particularly like Colin Firth's bumbling art curator either. Only Alan Rickman's media magnate cut it for me. "Gambit" tells the tale of a long suffering art curator who ,along with his art forging friend ,set up a scam involving an American cowgirl to swindle his unpleasant boss out of millions of pounds. Their plan is to sell him a fake Monet which they convince him has been hanging in the cowgirl's trailer home for the past few decades. It's all reasonably light weight stuff and thankfully there's no violence,swearing and sex (although Cameron Diaz strips off to her bra and panties in one scene to show off her still reasonably impressive body). However I thought the slapstick attempts at humour were cringeworthy and the film only just about warrants a three star review.
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on 11 January 2014
Not my usual kind of film, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. The all-star cast lift it above the average, and while much of the humour is clichéd or slapstick, the timing is so exact, and the expressions so perfect that this was lifted out of what could have been simply silly.

The plot is faintly ridiculous of course, reminding me of an old 'Pink Panther' farce, and not just because of the opening - and amusing - title sequence. But Alan Rickman is great as the dour multi-millionaire, Colin Firth excellent as the klutzy art critic with the dubious morals, and Cameron Diaz brilliantly over-played as the Texan cowgirl who's a lot brighter than she seems.

Rated 12, presumably due to significant innuendoes, but there's nothing explicit, no violence, and only rear view nudity in a couple of scenes intended to be humorous rather than suggestive.

Don't expect anything deep or thought-provoking, or even any romance... but for a light evening's viewing, we thought it great.
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