Most of us plan for our retirement with 401k’s and stock options. Everyone wants to know that when old age creeps up, we’ll have a little nest egg to sit back on. But for master thief Joe Moore it takes a little more than a mealy-mouthed investment broker to make it through retirement.
Heist is a delicious flick about gentlemen thieves and the biggest bankroll of their career. When Gene Hackman’s character Joe Moore is “burnt” in an attempted robbery for kingpin Bergman (Danny DeVito), he’s forced into taking one last job before he can head down south for some well deserved R&R. What follows is a twisted and juicy plot of cons with in cons, and wheels within wheels, leading up to one of the most complicated and deliciously detailed heists in movie history.
Heist couldn’t be more appropriately named, for the robbery is this film’s sun, around which the lives of its characters willingly revolve. Hackman and his crew are more than just thieves, they're artists, with their own language and life views. But, in a way, we never really know these people or really understand anything about their lives beyond the job. Just as their movements are veiled behind smoke and mirrors, so are their personalities hidden behind the job itself.
This flick delivers fun, mind bending plot twists wrapped in secrecy, and misdirection. That kind of mind sucking cinema can’t be beat. Combine that with some sweet acting by sidekicks Delroy Lindo and Ricky Jay, and the usual thespian intensity of Gene Hackman and Danny DeVito, and Heist fully delivers.
Not only is the film smooth and sultry, it pulls out big punches with the crafty caginess of a barnyard cat. There is a moment or two where dialogue seems to falter, as the script tries to find balance between stoicism and revelation, but these are quickly forgotten amidst a whirlwind of Hackman guttural and DeVito charm.
Even if, like me, you get stuck next to a blue haired old crone with a purse full of fruit and far to much perfume, Heist will keep you happily sitting in your sit. Just be a little wary of attending any screening sponsored by an elderly jazz station.
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