THE HEIST (aka THE MAIDEN HEIST) (2009)
Directed by Peter Hewitt
Christopher Walken. Morgan Freeman. William H. Macy. I need only say those three names for you to realise that this film is going to be good! You’d be fooled into thinking this is a dark crime thriller from the uber-serious DVD cover, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. The film is in fact a light comedy, with only a hint of crime, but a comedy that doesn’t just play for laughs, but heartfelt emotion too.
The plot is quite a simple affair and had anyone but these three starred in it, then it wouldn’t be half as entertaining as it actually is. Where else can you see Christopher Walken being hen-pecked by his sun-worshipping wife, Rose, played by The Mist actress, Marcia Gay Harden? Or Morgan Freeman excitedly holding a stick of candy floss in a park discussing the super-secret heist plan with his comrades? Or William H. Macy stripping nude to re-enact the pose of his beloved bronze warrior statue? These little scenarios between the lovable Walken, cat-mad Freeman and exhibitionist Macy are hilarious and completely make the film. The Heist is like hanging out with three old friends who you adore and wishing so hard that they achieve their goal but know deep inside that things aren’t going to be plain sailing…
Christopher Walken plays Roger, a kind soul who lives with his wife Rose (Harden) who works at the local hairdressers in the town. The two of them are in love but are comfortable with their relationship. Rose decides they need to spice up their dull lives little by taking a vacation in glorious sunny Florida. Of course, Roger isn’t too thrilled on the idea of leaving his Lonely Maiden painting, especially when he hears of her imminent departure to Denmark! The banter between Roger and Rose is a hoot to watch and any married couple or couple in a relationship will be able to relate to the two characters as they bicker. Morgan Freeman takes an unusual role of Charles, also a security guard at the museum, who shares Roger’s pain of the thought of losing a beloved painting. Charles’ favourite piece of artwork just happens to reflect his own passion: cats. Rounding off the team is security guard George (a terrific William H. Macy), an ex-military man who sees himself as being strong and courageous and finds the bronze warrior statue that sits in the museum to be a reflection of this. All four actors give their all, playing their parts in a natural way, not too comedic and not too serious.
The film is paced suitably, allowing the viewer to invest in the characters, and we soon become attached to Roger and his cohorts in their attempt to steal the artwork. The cinematography is pleasant on the eye and keeps the viewers attention throughout. Whilst the plot isn’t overly complicated and may be a little predictable, it’s certainly an enjoyable one thanks to the stellar performances. This is one film that’ll go down a treat with audiences both young and old.
So if you’re looking for a light bit of entertainment starring four of the best actors in the business, then you’ll love this witty, fun-filled comedy crime-caper.