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Art curator for media tycoon Lord Lionel Shahbandar (Alan Rickman), Harry Deane (Colin Firth) plans to acquire the piece his employer longs for--Monet's 'Dusk’. However, Harry has no interest in procuring the actual painting for Shahbandar...
With the help of beautiful rodeo queen PJ Puznowski (Cameron Diaz), the pair hatch a scheme to fool Shahbandar into believing that Harry's expert forgery is the real deal and pocketing a hefty sum in the process.
But with the con proving harder to pull off than he had first intended, Harry finds himself in increasingly awkward and hilarious situations in order to keep Shahbandar's suspicions at bay and see the job through to the end.
Pretty much without question, the biggest selling point of caper movie Gambit is the names of the people who wrote it. The screenplay to the film, a remake of the 1966 movie of the same name, was penned by the terrific Coen Brothers, and there are several of their touches quietly dotted right throughout the movie. A full-on Coen Brothers movie though this is not.
Gambit is also a film that's attracted quite a cast. Headlined by Oscar-winner Colin Firth, the line-up also features a wonderful Alan Rickman, a playful Cameron Diaz and an underrated turn from the regularly underappreciated Stanley Tucci. Each turns in good work, and each is great fun to watch.
That said, even with those ingredients in place, there's a sense that Gambit doesn't always quite add up the film you might suspect. It's certainly a lot of fun at its best, and there's quite an old school, traditional feel to it. The humour's variable, but then there's a lot of upbeat positivity underpinning Gambit, that ultimately makes it hard to resist.
It would have certainly been interesting had the Coen Brothers decided to direct Gambit as well as write it. As things stand, though, it's an undemanding, entertaining and rewatchable film, that could have been just that little bit more. Well worth watching, but readjust your expectations accordingly. -- Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a pathetic remake of the excellent Shirley Maclaine/Michael Caine film from years ago. It is so bad that if it were not for Alan Rickman it would have gone straight into the recycling bin. It is not one of Rickman's greatest by any means but, at least, he acts - which is more than can be said for Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz.
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No real laugh-out-loud moments but still a pleasant enough revenge drama that doesn't outstay its welcome.Published 8 months ago by Jenny (South Africa)
This movie delivers simple entertainment without feeling dumb-ed down. It strikes a happy balance between word humour and situational humour with a few scenes that were absolute... Read morePublished 9 months ago by DomAni
Very good cast but this film was a bit too disjointed for me, hence 2/5.Published 10 months ago by DJT
There should be lots to like about this film - a strong cast and an interesting story for starters. However, I found the film dragged and the story lost focus at times. Read morePublished 10 months ago by EMC
Great film for an end of day sog-on-the-sofa. Not a great film - but hey! it has Alan Rickman AND Stanley Tucci in it!Published 13 months ago by G. Hugh Browton