Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (Screenplay) Sidney Carroll (Short Story)
Starring: Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Cameron Diaz, Tom Courtenay, Mike Noble, Cloris Leachman
Plot: An art curator decides to seek revenge on his abusive boss by conning him into buying a fake Monet, but his plan requires the help of an eccentric and unpredictable Texas rodeo queen.
Tagline – A fake masterpiece. The perfect plan.
Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Quirky, But Flat Comedy
Story: Gambit starts when art curator Harry Deane (Firth) and his partner The Major (Courtenay) who head to Texas in search for PJ Puznowski (Diaz) in an attempt to pull off revenge against his boss Shabandar (Rickman).
Harry has a perfect plan in his head one he thinks he can pull off, the problem comes from nothing seems to go as smoothly as he planned and Harry must go figure out how to get the money he wants from Shabandar.
Thoughts on Gambit
Characters – Harry Deane is an art curator that is tired of the abusive nature of his boss, he wants to get revenge and in his head he has a perfect plan. He remains confident in his plan even after everything seems to go wrong and we soon learn he is the one needing to become desperate. Shabandar is the boss who collects the rarest pieces of art, he is feared by his employees and knows how to get a deal done. PJ Puznowski is the Texan cowgirl that is being used by Harry to get the con done, she however seems to be larger than life full of bubbles which only makes the job harder than Harry has planned. Her character does feel a stereotype of Americans. The Major is the forger that has been working helping Harry make the money, he does worry about his friend’s decisions.
Performances – Colin Firth is fun in the leading role of this film, he gets to have fun in the leading role keeping a straight face through the comedy in the film. Cameron Diaz enjoys playing the generic American getting to poke fun at the stereotype. Alan Rickman as the bad boss is also good for his part getting to look at disgust at the people involved in the film. the problem with the performances comes from the characters not being a true as they deserve to.
Story – The story follows an art curator that wants to get revenge on his employer and plans an elaborate plan to con him with his weakness, art even though not everything goes to plan. The story breaks the traditions of a con movie because usually we have an ultra smooth calm leading man, this time we have one trying to hold everything together to get the job done. This is a nice twist it does work, though with a heist movie we do like the confident lead to fill us with enjoyment. The villainous boss never comes off as evil either which again doesn’t help us want to see him get his. This is a problem that does go through the film a lot.
Comedy/Crime – The comedy relies on the use of innuendos which the first time are fun, though they become tiresome quickly, the crime focuses on the art sale which never feels like it isn’t going to happen.
Settings – The film uses the setting of London to show how the businessman conducts himself through everyday life which only makes us see how PJ is enjoying the new country and lifestyle she is thrown into.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the crime comedies that does miss more than it hits, which is a shame because it has an excellent cast.
Overall: Simple Crime Comedy.