Having done their homework on Frank and how much money is stashed away in a tax-free Bahamas bank, Louis John Hawkes and Ordell Mos Def are the aforementioned crooks who think they have hatched the perfect plan — hold the wife ransom in exchange for the husband's ill-gotten wealth. . I'll give it this - it has a great soundtrack. But a simple abduction grows increasingly complicated by factors quite outside their control: Richard Mark Boone Jr , their creepy, neo- Nazi co-conspirator; Marshall Will Forte , Mickey's amorous but very married suitor; and Melanie Isla Fisher , the sexy, hard-hearted reason Frank can't wait to get rid of Mickey for good. Life of Crime is an aptly titled crime dramedy based on The Switch, a novel by the late Elmore Leonard whose comically dark prose has inspired other noir films like Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown and Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight. He also plans on divorcing Mickey and marrying Melanie.
The acting in Life of Crime is superb, by all; from Jennifer Aniston who plays the kidnapped wife , Yasiin Bey who is one of the kidnappers , John Hawkes the other kidnapper , Isla Fisher who is the crook's love interest, and later Yasiin Bey's as well , and Mark Boone Jr the third kidnapper, known to many of us for his excellent role in Sons of Anarchy. Ordell goes and meets Melanie in the Bahamas while Frank is away. The stakes are much lower this time, with a simple kidnapping plot the main point of action and few of the deliciously tangled interwoven story lines of the Tarantino flick. However she is subject to a hearing after her confession and demoted to sergeant, moving out of her house as Ray asks for a divorce. Mos Def and John Hawkes come up with the dumbest of plans, which was just not that well thought through. Rather, it is an Elmore Leonard-derived caper tale set in the late 70s, with the soundtrack and mustaches to match.
On the whole, 'Life of Crime' gets some things right, not all. So she is the weak link in an otherwise watchable kidnapping caper pic. That's the word I want to use when I think of an overall impression of Life of Crime. Frank denies all her accusations. A recommendation is a no from me, don't waste your time and money for this one. This translation is missing the charm and finesse of its source material, too, and a little of that spice can really go a long way. When Melanie is away from their room, Mickey, Louis and Ordell then decides to demand Melanie's ransom from Frank.
But where those films excelled in authentic storytelling prowess, Life of Crime is a low budget film that seems to be content with a medley of delicious dialogue from improvised characters. There is some good character development in Mickey, but overall the characters in this film lack depth. But Anniston is a vaporous Mickey. This just didn't hang together for me. I didn't find it funny. Ex-convict Ordell Robbie Yasiin Bey persuades Louis Gara John Hawkes to partner with him and the Nazi-supporter Richard Mark Boone Jr to pull off the kidnapping of Mickey Dawson Jennifer Anniston. When Mickey is kidnapped by three colorful individuals, the ransom aspect takes multiple twists as Frank has just filed divorce papers.
It's a flawed picture that isn't exactly memorable or riveting but i think this is still a pretty entertaining little picture. Schechter even layers a little tragedy into Mickey's predicament: being kidnapped would arguably be the worst moment of anybody's life but, for a woman trapped so firmly in her odious marriage and the 1970s , it represents a most unusual chance for freedom. Leonard's 1992 novel 'Rum Punch' was adapted into 'Jackie Brown' in 1997. In addition, the twist at the end comes way too late, and it would have been more interesting to see it happen earlier, and see the story unfold after the twist. Actors usually love doing Leonard scripts - he prefers to let mouths do the talking, not fists - and the cast pretty much nails it here. The two kidnappers have to figure out how to quickly turn the tables before their time runs out.
Life of Crime isn't obviously as good as Jackie Brown and i think nobody was expecting that. In the movies, crimes, heists and capers can go down in one of two ways: stylishly, with plenty of tension and drama; or disastrously, typically with lashings of irony and comedy. Forte plays a married friend of Mickey's, named Marshall Taylor, who is desperately trying to have an affair with her. Every hair on her head stays in place even after being kidnapped and almost raped. One of the surprises i had is that this time the film isn't focused on Ordell but it's actually more focused on Lewis. In Life of Crime, unlike many crime thrillers, the focus is on the characters rather than on achievement of maximum possible violence.
It's been a year and Toronto 2014 is a couple of days away and only now am i finally seeing this film. Some of same sadistic funny moments from 'Fargo' and 'Jackie Brown' are evident in 'Life of Crime', and Schechter does a great job of keeping it fresh while paying homage to the previous films. It even feels so as the main conflict and finale come. It finally occurs to the kidnappers that Frank doesn't really want Mickey back. When Denise and Ray visit the club they find bouncer Mike Holland with scratches on his face and wearing a medallion identical to Amy's. Life Of Crime lodges itself firmly in the latter camp, exploring with often amusing effect the myriad ways in which plots and plans can go very badly wrong. And people respond to it in ways that are sometimes smart and sometimes stupid.
In Leonard's hands that still made for a wildly entertaining read, but on the screen it feels a bit on the shallow side. The film relies on a talented cast who make the movie a bit more entertaining, but the story simply fails to engage and at times everything seems so light and pointless. It had potential to be a madcap comedy, but it appeared the writer and director balked at the idea. It's a slow burning pot boiler but one that simmers with sure-fisted wit, eclectic style and filled with the type of tension that stretches but never snaps. The plot is an interesting and original idea, but the opportunity goes to waste under the writing and direction.