Involved crime drama about an intricate plan to rob an airport bank. Watch for the surprise ending and look quickly for a barely-recognizable Harrison Ford in his film debut, playing a bellhop.Written by
Seeing this heist film made me yearn for the no-nonsense efficiency of Kubrick's classic The Killing (1956). I can't recall any other heist film that generated absolutely no tension or suspense the way this one does. Instead the screenplay is cluttered with parts that fit together about as well as a bombed-out house. Writer Girard treats connecting threads as a needless distraction, which I guess we're supposed to take as the mark of European sophistication, 1960's style. Instead, we're treated to the wolfish Coburn's irresistible way with women, something about a Soviet premier on a visit, nameless guys who sort of appear and reappear leaving few tracks, and something about getting money from a bank after it's closed. The idea is to toss them all into the air and see how they come down.
Now, it might be argued that the movie is not really a heist film at all. That it's really not a genre film despite superficial appearances. Rather, the robbery and its planning are merely events leading up to some kind ironic point in the end about Eli outsmarting himself. Or some such more general point than merely a heist film. Okay. But the same general problem remains—the movie's just too slow and disjointed to hold interest regardless how it's defined.
Despite all, there are several redeeming features. There's ditzy Nina Wayne (Frieda) looking and sounding like her sexy sister Carol doing one of her hilarious bits on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. Then there's the LA airport looking like a giant spider that's decide to squat on the city. And for old movie fans, it's an easy gig for Aldo Ray who gets marquee billing and about three lines of dialog. And finally, there's the neat twist ending—too bad this flash of inspiration is so slow in coming. In my book, it's one of the disappointing crime films of its time.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this