Life of Crime (2014)

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Daniel Schechter directs John Hawkes, Jennifer Aniston and Tim Robbins in this adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Switch which features early incarnations of Jackie Brown’s key players.

Colourful and well cast, but doesn’t get the rhythm of the distinctive dialogue or plotting right. Once we settle into ransom demands the pleasing early gush of hairboiled zest just slows to a trickle through. As an unofficial prequel to QT’s superior Leonard adaptation, Jackie Brown, is where most of the value lies…How close will it line up so you can pop Pam Grier and Robert Foster on straight after and not feel disorientated? (Hey, I don’t know what goes about in your head but this is the exact stuff that keeps me awake at night.) The loveable Hawkes makes a really decent fist of a sweeter, more clued-up, pre-long stretch Robert DeNiro’s Louis Gara, Mos Def can’t hold a candle to Samuel L Jackson and Isla Fisher is an anachronism as conniving surfer chick Melanie. Still gorgeous in bikinis and Christmas jumpers but her age is starting to show, so casting Fisher as a younger version of an in her prime Bridget Fonda feels like when Dalton replaced Moore but with all of Bond’s history still lingering. You probably won’t mind the paradox quite so much, and the filmmakers probably were just happy to have another bankable comedic talent join the roster. I really can’t believe I’m moaning, over multiple sentences, about Isla Fisher being in a movie, either!

5

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