A career bank robber breaks out of jail, and shares a moment of mutual attraction with a U.S. Marshal he has kidnapped.A career bank robber breaks out of jail, and shares a moment of mutual attraction with a U.S. Marshal he has kidnapped.A career bank robber breaks out of jail, and shares a moment of mutual attraction with a U.S. Marshal he has kidnapped.
Out of Sight features many of the Soderbergh hall marks, in that it is a crime/heist thriller with multi-dimensional storylines, some nonlinear storytelling and quite distinctive lighting and cinematography. But nothing to the degree that finds the story being overwhelmed by pretensions to arthouse significance, as might be claimed of much of his earlier work. It also has a terrific cast, boasts a killer soundtrack and has a couple of really appealing cameo appearances. Michael Keaton bobs up midway through, as a cross pollinating character, both for this film and Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown. Then Samuel L Jackson emerges unexpectedly to wrap the movie up on a realistically positive, if not traditional Hollywood ending.
What it does have is a narrative based on an Elmore Leonard novel. Leonard novels translated to the screen invariably mean plenty of dialogue, albeit clever and humorous in a frequently blackish way, but a surfeit of dialogue that may conversely lead to perceptions of a lack of action. Think Get Shorty! Be Cool! The afore mentioned Jackie Brown! The list is extensive. Out of Sight is one of these movies; a 2+ hour film with lots and lots of dialogue and earnest discussions surrounding shady "jobs", both carried out in the past and planned for the future, but no big set action pieces. It's the storyline and the characters which are the focus here and none more important than the relationship between non-violent career bank robber Jack Foley (George Clooney) and US Marshall (runs in the family) Karen Sisko.
Their chemistry in their (surprisingly only) 2 key scenes is palpably intense and enjoyable. Both are very good with Clooney consolidating his growing A-list status at the time and Lopez proving, with a deliberately understated sexiness, she can really act and is more than capable of carrying a picture as the lead actress. Terrific support from the likes of Ving Rhames kind of doing what he does in Mission Impossible, Don Cheadle convincing as the jocular, but clearly dangerous key villain and Steve Zahn, as the nervy, out of his depth, comic relief who is the instigator of much of the later action. The bench is just full of abundant talent.
For this writer, Out of Sight, whilst not quite deserving of its critically showered, monumental status, is still a very entertaining, though talky, professionally made, fun, movie experience. It certainly deserved a greater audience on its initial release and likely needed to be promoted/handled better by its studio.
- Jul 22, 2020