Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sneakers Commentary

This really was one of the last heist movies from the late 80s/early 90s to fit the old mold.  Now, those types of movies rely more on edgy dialogue, characters that emit "cool" and comic relief.  When Steph and I were looking through Netflix and saw this, she said it looked kind of like Ocean's Eleven.  And, to a certain extent, it is.  It involves a group of criminal specialists trying to steal something.  But Sneakers really relies a lot on the strength of actors like Sidney Poitier, Dan Akroyd and Robert Redford to be bigger than their roles.  Ocean's Eleven relied on actor strength too but the focus was largely on the character.

That's not to say that Sneakers doesn't work.  It does.  It's got a decent plot even if it does get a bit confusing along the way.  The entire heist is carried out in a tight, strong and humorous manner which is really a must for movies like this.  The writing seems a bit weak in spots but, for the most part, the actors are able to make it work.  After all, Redford, Akroyd, Poitier and River Phoenix are all superior at their craft.

The drawback to the movie is the length.  The build up to the actual heist takes too long to develop and that's where a lot of the confusion starts to develop.  By the time they get to the actual meat of the plot, the viewers will likely be a bit too confused as to why anyone is doing what they're doing.  Had they cut down on a lot of that, it could have been a tighter movie.  I think this is the third time I've seen it and I think the same thing every time.

Given that it's available on demand and is on TV an awful lot, I say see it.  There's enough of a good heist movie there to make it worth your while.  Just know that it didn't age as well as it could have given the direction that heist movies have gone in recent years.

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