By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3 (Out of 4 Stars)
After the utter disappointment with Coffee, Kill Boss, I was so incredibly grateful that my next film turned out to be a fun, clever, witty and entertaining heist film in the vein of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven. The Art of the Steal obviously borrows some of its style and swagger from Ocean’s and from 60s caper films, but does have much to offer in terms of fresh dialogue, comedic writing and strong performances from its cast. So while it isn’t anything most film aficionados haven’t already seen, the film does have enough going for it to make it worth watching.
Kurt Russell stars as motorcycle daredevil Crunch Calhoun, an ex-art thief who is forced to take the fall for his younger brother Nicky (Matt Dillon) after their last job. When Crunch is offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to steal a priceless Johannes Gutenberg piece, he comes out of retirement and assembles his old crew with the addition of his new protégé (Jay Baruchel). Crunch has some serious reservations for working again with his treacherous brother, but the payoff is too irresistible. In addition to his mistrust for his brother, Calhoun must also deal with an ambitious Interpol agent (Jason Jones) and a former professional thief (Terrence Stamp) who are hot on their trail.
Fans of comedic heist films definitely have something fun and exciting to anticipate with this movie. The entire ensemble cast performs well, but the main standout of the film is Baruchel who delivers most of the best lines. The law has an ace up their sleeve also with Jason Jones who, as a hapless and cocky Interpol agent, has some hilarious scenes of his own. Written and directed by Jonathon Sobol, The Art of the Steal is one title not to miss.