Gerard Depardieu plays a sleazy Paris nightclub owner and ex-detective who flies to Hong Kong to rescue the young son of a friend murdered by the Chinese mob. He leaves the boy in the hands... See full summary »
After hiding his loot and getting thrown in jail, Ruby, a brooding outlaw encounters Quentin, a dim-witted and garrulous giant who befriends him. After Quentin botches a solo escape attempt... See full summary »
In a country (alluded to be Chile) under dictatorship, a police night raid comes up with a few usual anti-regime suspects. They are sent to a camp in the middle of nowhere. Their friends on the outside start to plan their escape.
Luigi Maria Burruano
The partners are back and are in a tight spot! Francois is going through a moral crisis, and Rene is experiencing the same. But, honesty is not always the best policy. After being suspended... See full summary »
Victor Vautier is incorrigible: he's in constant motion, working several cons at once, using different names and changing disguises. He's charming and outrageous, incapable of uttering a ... See full summary »
An out-of-town heist becomes a nightmare for a crew of French burglars when they mistakenly rob the head of the Chicago mafia. Unaccustomed to the ways of the American underworld, it is not long before they have the mafia, the FBI and a couple of street gangs on their backs as they attempt to make their way back to Paris. Written by
Another "in joke": when the thieves want to take aliases to protect their identities, Marcel insists on being called "Elvis". That's because Johnny Hallyday, who plays Marcel, is known as the "Elvis of France". See more »
After Frankie Zammeti throws the spaghetti, the remaining spaghetti on the plate changes between shots. See more »
Somewhere, Guy Ritchie Is Filing a Plagiarism Lawsuit
"Crime Spree" is a good movie. It's not a great one, but it's certainly very funny and quite entertaining. Its major problem is, though, that it's almost completely ripped off from either "Snatch" or "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels." Now, don't get me wrong: I enjoyed "Crime Spree" immensely and I do recommend it. However, don't go into it expecting to see something original or revolutionary, especially if you're a Guy Ritchie fan.
Writer/director Brad Mirman crafts a cute, international comedy with the requisite murder/theft/convoluted plot that has dragged Ritchie to the spotlight while bringing nothing new to the table. One disappointing aspect of "Crime Spree," though, is that it neither has Ritchie's blitheness nor his gravity in serious matters. When, in either "Snatch" or "Lock, Stock," the characters find out that they're screwed, we can feel just how screwed they are. In "Crime Spree," we don't know them well enough to comprehend the level of crap they're in. This is probably because Mirman doesn't take the time to establish the characters well enough to make us feel anything for them. We see that they're a likable group of guys who happen to be hapless thieves, and that's where the character development ends.
I think Mirman's biggest problem is that he underwrote the script. The scene that catapults the story is too unexpected and weird, because it involves a character too peripheral. It takes a huge leap of faith to think that something so minor could result in an onset of problems that big, because said peripheral character lacks the motivation to be involved in the plot in the first place.
Now, speaking of the plot. The plot has Ritchie's signature written all over it, only whereas Ritchie begins at the beginning, so to speak, when he introduces his characters, Mirman gets lazy and does expository dialogue instead. This is probably a mistake, since he has neither the style nor the substance to fill the holes well enough and make me ignore the sloth of his writing.
Lastly, Mirman's work suffers from a lot of side ordership. There are only two important groups in the forefront, but Mirman stuffs the movie with side characters that seem to distract from the development of the main characters. Whereas Ritchie somehow incorporates these side assemblies into the main plot, Mirman doesn't have the skill to do this, so I wind up feeling annoyed at the fact that some totally arbitrary people are stealing the screen time. I wish to Christ that, in the cases of both Ritchie and Mirman, or any of the numerous on-the-rise directors who want to follow in that vein, people learn that simplicity isn't always a bad thing. A movie doesn't have to have thirty protagonists to be good. Both "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock" had this problem, but in those movies, the side characters were at least somewhat amusing.
Despite these rather grave errors, "Crime Spree," as I said before, is a good film. It's light (though not light enough) with dark moments (that are, alas, not dark enough), but it works in its own odd, plagiarist way. Mirman has style in terms of shooting the thing and a couple of moments in the film work better than anything Ritchie has ever spawned. Also on the plus side in the Mirman column, he has assembled an excellent cast that can at least act.
Do I recommend it? As I said, absolutely. But if you're looking for something to blow your mind and you've not been living in a Luddite compound in terms of the Ritchie Revolution, "Crime Spree" just won't do it for you.
12 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?