This entertaining modernization of the classic caper stars the charismatic Sean Connery as the expert high tech thief named Mac and the equally charming Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask of Zorro) as Virginia. The movie isn’t much of a thriller, but fits the action genre like a glove and mirrors the plot and certain elements of Mission Impossible which mirrors many James Bond films, Connery’s acting debut. Connery, who shared producing credit on this movie, knows his audience well and keeps his main appeal and persona throughout the film.
The film does follow parts of the James Bond formula of globetrotting locations in London and Malaysia and a beautiful woman, but this time the fate of the world is not on the line. The only thing really at stake here is the chance of getting caught and the fear of an unfulfilled, lonely life, even when the main characters can have, or steal, anything they want. This adventure shows the two lead characters’ personal feelings and distrust during their preparation and training for the robberies which make the crime seem more like a professional job instead of something illegal.
No real messages or symbolism except for some funny calling cards thieves use to replace an item they have just stolen to show contempt for their victims. The only real victims in this film are computers and security systems which are compromised with relative ease so the main characters can achieve their goals.
In one scene Mac reminisces on the “good old days” and quips “where’s all the real loot..the gold..the money?” His point bridges the old concept of robberies with the new concept of high tech “victimless crimes” against faceless corporations instead of actual people. This interesting point could have been expanded more to reveal more of Mac’s motives and past experiences, but the film follows a linear path of the crimes at hand and relationships in the present time. The supporting characters of agent — (Will Patton) and — (Ving Rhames) play a key role in both main character’s fates. — has an association with Mac and — acts as Virginia’s boss at an insurance agency.
Director Jon Amiel wisely focuses on his stars and uses some nice, slow rotating among the action sequences. Some of the action sequences grow a little unbelievable at times, but who goes to see a movie filled with ordinary elements in it? The exciting story and appealing leads make up for any realism weaknesses in the plot and the film should get good credit for its absence of gratuitous violence and needless deaths.
The sequence of events builds up well as the stakes grow higher and, ultimately, each character reveals their true intentions. Recommended (*** out of four sfor the entertainment value and performances of Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones with small reservations about the believability of some action sequences.
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler