Out of Sight
It is the hippest, coolest movie of the last 25 years. Better than Pulp Fiction. Better than Reservoir Dogs. Don't believe me? Check it out this weekend and you be the judge.
George Clooney stars as Jack Foley, a notorious bank robber and veteran of over 200 heists who has never used a gun. His is a dangerous business, so Foley has been in and out of prison for most of his life. Right now, he's in and wants out.
Foley teams up with his best friend, Buddy (Ving Rhames), a man who feels so guilty about his life of crime that he calls his sister to confess after every job, and Glenn "Studs" Michaels (Steve Zahn), a stoner who is tired of being a sidekick. During the escape, Foley and Buddy take a hostage, Federal Marshall Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez). Foley and Sisco realize an undeniable attraction and, after being let go, she joins the FBI task force assigned to bringing Foley back to jail. However, he is planning on pulling one last great heist and riding off into the sunset.
It sounds like a simple plot line, but the movie is brilliantly written with several layers and complex twists and turns. Director Steven Soderbergh doesn't follow a linear storyline path, but effectively uses flashbacks to show the significance of modern day events and how they are impacted and caused by past events. By the end, the audience understands every character's motivations, desires and weaknesses.
Soderbergh should be credited with being the director who taught George Clooney how to act. Clooney has always been competent and won over many fans, including myself, by oozing charm. However, I always felt like he was playing the same role over and over again. From Roseanne to ER to One Fine Day, Clooney was always Clooney - the mischievous bad boy with a heart of gold. In Out of Sight, Clooney creates a compelling character who realizes that his lifestyle needs to change if he is to ever find the happiness he seeks. Unfortunately, Foley only knows how to steal.
After displaying such great acting skill in this film, Lopez has chosen to become a rock star and Puff Daddy-groupie instead of practicing her trade. Lopez creates one of the sexiest, toughest and most realistic women on screen. She is able to match Clooney in sex appeal and one-liners. It is one of the best female roles of the last few years.
The supporting cast makes the movie a wonderful film. Steve Zahn is hilarious. His character wants to be considered a dangerous, callous criminal who should be taken seriously, but he doesn't have it in him. Albert Brooks is great as the weasely white collar crook who survives in jail by using his money, just like he did on the outside. Rhames plays the most likable character, Buddy, a friend who you would trust to your dying day. Also, check out yet another great performance from Don Cheadle as Snoopy Mitchell, a former pro boxer who fixes fights and steals to make a living.
The soundtrack is the other element that makes this film so enjoyable. Music can go a long way to creating a mood. Remember how you felt when the Jaws music started? Da-dum. Da-dum. It created an eerie anticipation. In Out of Sight, the music establishes the herky jerky, cool, hip feel that keeps the audience on the edge of its seat. Hearing that moog organ pound out 70's style funk makes each character and each scene work.
If you want a cool film this weekend, check out Out of Sight.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Written by Scott Frank
Based on an Elmore Leonard novel
George Clooney .. Jack Foley
Jennifer Lopez . Karen Sisco
Ving Rhames Buddy Bragg
Steve Zahn Glenn "Studs" Michaels
Dennis Farina .. Marshall Sisco
Michael Keaton Ray Nicholette
Albert Brooks ..Richard Ripley
Don Cheadle Snoopy Miller
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