This movie is so unique, and so utterly amazing in its ability to present us time after time with real, believable characters. And there are lots here, and even though they may appear for about 5 minutes (e.g. Michael Keaton, Albert Brooks, etc.), somehow we get to learn a little bit about them, to catch a small glimpse of their life. Even the three ad guys at the bar seemed like the type you'd meet up with in real life. If their parts were totally irrelevant to the movie, somehow they just fit anyway.
How do the filmmakers achieve this effect, and how do they do it so seamlessly? I thought the technique was by not presenting the characters to through their great accomplishments, but by their natural human faults. I know it is wrong to love someone for their errors, we should rather love them for their virtues, etc, etc. But I feel there is an aspect of imperfection in an individual's failures that is a major quality of what makes us human.
Jack Foley (George Clooney) is a graying bank robber who, despite a sense of good nature and intelligence, does unplanned, and unarmed, bank heists and consequently spends most of his time in prison, no doubt scheming up new plans to get out. Foley doesn't seem like the typical criminal who'd blame his anti-social habits on a bad childhood; rather, he carries a cocky, comical air of someone who does it for the heck of it, or maybe, to quote Foley, he's just not a nine-to-five kind of guy. Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) is Foley's feminine equivalent, who ignores her conscience and carries her cat and mouse games to the fullest extent, jeopardizing her career. Sisco is very firm and bubbling with self-esteem, yet she's dating an married FBI agent who carries an arrogant, macho look on his face.
Of course, I could go on forever, from Buddy's (Ving Rhames) certainly dull-witted habit of calling his sister to confess of jobs, especially one confession that got him and Foley busted, to White Boy Bob, who you'd write off as a basic bad guy character, until he does that thing to himself near the end of the movie.
Now, there are many who will fault the movie for lagging, having too much dialogue, etc. But I felt that if the movie was slowed down in any way, it was because the filmmakers took the guts to devote a little bit to create and flourish each character. And that is why I love this film so much; this was made for an intelligent audience, for an audience that wants a little more out of dialogue, wants to get aroused without explicit sexuality on-screen (styles director Soderbergh is known for), and enjoy a good crime movie without the repetitive, drawn out gun battles.
Soderbergh wanted to go mainstream with this movie, but you can only see him going deeper and deeper into film avant-garde. Just hope those corrupt Hollywood producers, after seeing the lagging (there's that word again) box office receipts, don't get to him.
10 of 10.
6 out of 10 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.