As Mamet piles one twist on top of another, "Heist" begins to fold in on itself.
I agree with David Mamet that there's a dearth of good dialogue in Hollywood, but that's no excuse to create characters who talk like they have a hyperactive obsession with Mickey Spillane books. Occasionally people do sit around and say nothing particularly interesting. Banter works best with the occasional respite. It's sometimes even prudent to let the characters indulge the occasional non-verbal thought, however infrequently.
In Mamet's films, the actors fire dialogue at each other like verbal Gatling guns. Gene Hackman, Delroy Lindo and Ricky Jay play Joe Moore, Bobby Blane and Pinky, respectively, expert robbers skilled at playing the odds and making away with the loot. Danny DeVito plays Bergman, the scummy crook who puts their jobs together. Sam Rockwell plays Jimmy Silk, nephew to Bergman, sent on the job to keep an eye on Joe. Rebecca Pidgeon is Fran Moore, Joe's wife, who's so full of sexual energy that she stands around waiting for her shorts to shrink some more.
As Mamet piles one twist on top of another, "Heist" begins to fold in on itself. Typical of Mamet, the characters sit or stand around creating speech that nobody in the real world has ever heard before. "He's a lame," Bobby Blane says over and over again. Okay, I get it, but it makes me want to kick Bobby in the balls and tell him to stop sounding like a three-year-old who should have a lollipop in one hand and a wad full of his poopy diaper in the other.
And where's the story? You can have the greatest dialogue in the world, but if it's housed in a story about two losers who lick cold flag poles, even the snappiest lines start to sound stupid after awhile. Joe Moore and the boys just skip from one job to another as Mamet skips from one setup to another. The only point Mamet makes is that Moore and friends are clever and can figure things out. Though we learn that in the first few minutes, Mamet beats it into us for the full length of the movie.
To spread the word about this Heist review on Twitter.To get instant updates of Mr. Cranky reviews, subscribe to our RSS feed.