Rafael is the best salesman in the biggest department store of Madrid. He is a fascinating man; all his colleagues fell in love with him. He tries to live a high-standard life. He is ... See full summary »
A remake of the 1955 comedy, the story revolves around a Southern professor who puts together a group of thieves to rob a casino. They rent a room in an old woman's house, but soon she discovers the plot and they must kill her, a task that is more difficult than it seems. Written by
Mrs. Munson mentions her neighbor went down and bought a new stereo at the Costco in Pascagoula. Pascagoula is located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast near the Alabama/Mississippi state line - not on the Mississippi River. In addition, there is no Costco in Pascagoula, MS. See more »
I suppose it's a sign of how low Hollywood has sunk when the usually wonderful Coen Brothers resort to remakes. Actually, calling the Coens' "The Ladykillers" an awful, dreadful, unfunny mess is being unkind to films that are really awful, dreadful and unfunny.
This remake ranks right alongside Gus Van Sant's "Psycho" as the worst remake of a classic. The Coens have taken a marvelously droll and brilliantly understated and charming black comedy and turned it into a broad, charmless and crude excuse for a comedy.
Tom Hanks hams it the whole way. There's not a single funny moment in his entire performance. He could win the Best Actor Oscar every year for the next 25 years and wouldn't amount to half the superb actor Sir Alec Guinness was. And as much as I like Irma P. Hall, the Coens got her character completely wrong.
What made the original so good was sweet Mrs. Wilberforce's (played by the incomparable Katie Johnson) naivete and vulnerability. The Coens have transformed her into a tough-talking woman without an ounce of vulnerability, and the story loses all its charm and humor. Hall's character just doesn't work in this story.
Marlon Wayans grates as the foul-mouthed "inside man" - unable to extract any humor from their remake, the Coens resort to Wayans spewing profanity pretty much in every line of dialogue. I have no problem with profanity, but here it's just not funny. And where the profanity doesn't work, the Coens believe bathroom humor will, by giving a character Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This is what Ethan and Joel have been reduced to. The guys who've given us some of the best films in the last 20 years have sunk to this level?
The Coens' film has only two minor things going for it: a) a lovely cat named Pickles and b) a terrific gospel soundtrack. Save yourself the trouble - buy the soundtrack CD and rent Alexander Mackendrick's original on DVD. It's only March and the Coens have already given us one of the worst films of the year. We can only hope they got the remake bug out of their system. Unless, of course, since they are, after all, the Coens, they're planning on remaking "The Bicycle Thief"
in color, because De Sica didn't get it quite right the first time.
40 of 78 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?