Mamet is trying too hard.
Knowing the quality of writer/director David Mamet’s previous works, maybe I expected too much out of Heist. But as it stands, I just wasn’t impressed by this film. Boredom is hardly a word I’d ever use to describe a Mamet movie, but is sure comes to mind here.
His trademark is witty dialog and intriguing characters. But at best, this stinker had Mamet-esque dialog taped onto mediocre characters. It’s a problem when the man is aping himself.
Witty dialog is good but without any believability, suspension of disbelief becomes really hard. Mamet probably took a while to compile all these bizarre quotes into one movie, but it is simply too much. Another Mamet staple, his wife Rebecca Pidgeon, has little substance to work with in her character Fran. She is just there to deliver overly contrived one-liners and provide sex appeal. This is a disappointing departure from previous stellar rolls that her hubby writes for her.
Delroy Lindo outshined Gene Hackman as his right-hand thug, and Ricky Jay pulled off the calm and collected hoodlum. Sam Rockwell delivers a good presence that you love hate, while Danny DeVito was an equally loathsome boss.
The story itself however bored me. If it wasn’t terribly predictable, it contained far too many twists so that they lost their effect. After a while, it seemed there was a backup plan for every backup plan.
Make a point to see Mamet’s Spartan instead.