Review - The Score


Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, The Score

Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro swap Method stories in The Score

 

 

Frank Oz is apparently a bit sniffy about being described as the man who used to be Miss Piggy. Here he directs Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando and Ed Norton in a one-last-heist movie and discovers that big hitters aren’t quite so easy to fist as a porker made of felt.

Bob, Marlon and Ed play, respectively, a jazz-loving master thief hoping to go out on a financial high, his lispingly effeminate fence and the cocky wannabe eager to learn at the master’s feet. A wasted Angela Bassett plays De Niro’s girlfriend. (Well, not entirely wasted. At least the producers got to tick the boxes marked “female” and “black”.)

We’re in the middle of a run of heist movies right now – Blow, The Heist, Ocean’s Eleven, Swordfish are all in theatres or on the way. And in every one of them there will be a point when the criminal mastermind outlines the plan to his waiting accomplices, starting with the line “Gentlemen, I think we know why we’re here” or its equivalent. You know, the bit where we’re told what’s meant to happen, so we can sit back and watch it all unfold, or not. The Score seems to think it’s that sort of film.

But. In a heist movie you root for the felons and marvel at their mission impossible. In The Score this never happens. Partly because the heist scenes are too long-winded, but mostly because Oz lets his Method Giants get away with flatulent “improv” scenes in which Bob mumbles, Marlon pretends not to be Mr Creosote and Ed hovers at the edges like the cloakroom boy at the eunuchs orgy. Which only leaves the minor characters for Oz to direct. Watch them closely. The bizarre faces, the funny voices, the tendency to wisecrack and look into the wings. And suddenly you realise with delicious irony that the director who now barely mentions the Henson years on his CV has given us Muppet Movie: The Heist.

© Steve Morrissey 2001

 

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The Score

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imdb poster The Score
The Score (2001)
Run time: 124 min
Rating: 6.8
Genres: Action | Crime | Thriller
Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando
Trivia: An aging thief hopes to retire and live off his ill-gotten wealth when a young kid convinces him into doing one last heist.
Storyline Nick Wells, a professional criminal, decides to leave the business for good, since he nearly got caught on his last job. His plan is to live in peace with his girl Diane, running his Montreal jazz club. Soon afterward, Max, his good friend and financial partner, comes along with an offer Nick can’t refuse: A historical and priceless French scepter has been discovered while being smuggled into the country. It is now under massive surveillance in the Montreal Customs House, and soon to be returned to France. Nick has to team up with Max’s man inside, the young, talented and aggressive thief Jack Teller to get the precious item. Only one question remains: Who will trick whom out of their share? Written by JungleBunny
Plot Keywords: thief, scepter, customs house, jazz club, heist
Box Office Budget: $68,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $184,599 (Netherlands) (2 November 2001)
Gross: $1,649,345 (Italy) (2 November 2001)