Saturday, 1 February 2014

Foolproof (2003)

While it's not as cool or clever as it likes to think it is, Foolproof is a surprisingly enjoyable comedy thriller that provides a nice twist on the usual heist movie in the first third of the film before then turning into the usual type of heist movie for the rest of the runtime.

Ryan Reynolds, Kristin Booth and Joris Jarsky play three people who have a strange hobby. They case locations and then plan a perfect robbery. A good robbery isn't good enough. It HAS to be perfect. It is, however, all fake. They set up ways in which to measure distance and time, have locks available to pick, and alarms ready to disarm, but this is all done in a makeshift space that they turn into any virtual environment that they're planning to break into. Unfortunately, someone gets hold of one of their perfect plans and commits a robbery, making them look extremely guilty in the process. The dastardly criminal (played by David Suchet) agrees to get rid of any damning evidence on one condition - the trio do one job for him. And so begins a series of tests, twists and dangerous escapades, with the young "robbers" desperately trying to find a way out of their situation, even as they are pushed over into the realm of actual illegality.

Written and directed by William Phillips, this is slick and enjoyable stuff that just never quite reaches the heights that it could. The premise is a good one, it's loaded up with a mixture of tension and humour, but it also sets everything up to be so safe, and cute, that viewers will be able to stay a few steps ahead of the twists and turns that populate the second half of the movie.

Some people don't like Ryan Reynolds, but I've been a fan of his work for a number of years now. Foolproof allows him to do his usual stuff, mixing humorous insults with a dollop of charm/smarm, so those who like him will enjoy his performance while those who don't will not be converted. Booth brings a good energy to the proceedings, and Jarsky is easy to view with suspicion, playing the potential weak link in the crew. Suchet plays the baddie with relish, and David Hewlett is a suitably menacing henchman. The only other main character who I think needs mentioned is the detective played by James Allodi, providing extra tension as he looks to be getting closer and closer to the truth about the robbery that could incriminate the three leads.

A financial failure upon its release, Foolproof certainly doesn't feel like a movie that you would rush to see at the cinema. It is, however, a very enjoyable piece of entertainment to enjoy in the comfort of your own home. I like it, I'd rewatch it, and I hope others at least give it a chance.


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