Art of the Steal – DVD review 3.5/5 stars
Well, this was the week when absolutely nothing came out on DVD, or so we thought. With the Winter Olympics going on, it seemed the studios were shying away from releasing anything big, as both Thor 2: Dark World and Gravity are set to come out next week. The only film that I saw scheduled on my supplier’s sheets (remember I run a video store) was Art of the Steal, which was listed as being DTV, or direct to video. I’m thought I remembered seeing commercials for this one last year sometime. It may not have had a very wide release, but I’m sure that it did go to theatres. I hadn’t seen the trailer at all, I had only seen the commercial (I’m sure I did!), but the cast intrigued me enough to say I’d watch it when it came out on DVD. Kurt Russell is always entertaining, and I have really liked Jay Baruchel’s work plus I love a good heist movie.
Kurt Russell plays Crunch Calhoun and Matt Dillon is his half-brother Nicky who lead a team of professional art thieves, but things go sour when Nicky sells his brother out to the police after a heist gone wrong in Poland some years ago. Crunch was the wheelman for the gang, and after surviving his stretch in a Polish prison sets out to live a straight life by being a motorcycle stuntman. He’s not that far on the straight and narrow though as he takes dives for cash because that’s what the crowd is there to see. Circumstances align and the two Calhoun brothers get together for one last heist that should pay them and their team out more than a million dollars, until Nicky gets greedy and convinces the gang to double cross their original buyer setting up a potential payout of twenty million dollars. All the while, the team are under surveillance by an Interpol agent (Jason Jones) who is using a former criminal (Terence Stamp) and known associate to the gang to help him authenticate and convict art smugglers as part of his sentence. As the movie progresses, the twists and double crosses begin and as the heist escalates things get even funnier. Fortunately the humour is fairly intelligent and not just slapstick thrown into the film to cover up for a thin plot (as I’ve seen many times before). Jay Baruchel and Jason Jones (of Daily Show fame) really lead the charge in this area but everyone really did a good job and that made for a fun film to watch.
A great deal of Art of the Steal was filmed in Niagara Falls, Ontario, which is just around the corner from me so it was pretty neat to see a lot of familiar sights, and the locations really added to a visually exciting and stylish film. It wasn’t too heavy on the mind and the execution of the heist was quite entertaining so I’d definitely recommend giving Art of the Steal a watch.
Bottom Line: after watching Art of the Steal and Place Beyond the Pines it doesn’t look like being a motorcycle stunt driver pays very much… well, unless you’re Ghost Rider I guess.