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What's the story?
In HEIST, veteran thief Joe Moore (Gene Hackman) is "so cool that when he sleeps, sheep count him." His pretty, young wife (Rebecca Pidgeon) "can talk her way out of a sunburn." And everyone wants money; "That's why they call it money." More archetype than stereotype, the film's set-up is the veteran with one last big job, the one that will get him out of the business for good. Moore's fence (Danny DeVito) will not pay off on a jewel robbery unless Moore goes for a gold shipment being held on a plane. The fence brings a new young partner into the deal, Jimmy Silk (Sam Rockwell), young and arrogant. Will Moore get away with the gold? Will there be double, triple, and quadruple crosses? Is there ever any honor among thieves?
Is it any good?
Writer/director David Mamet is fascinated by the con. He has written movies about an ordinary person who becomes involved with professional con men (House of Games) and about men who sell vacation property by selling a dream to people who cannot afford it. It may be that the con that interests Mamet most is the story itself, with the storyteller as the con man who spins a yarn so enticing that the listener is utterly captivated.
And it is a pleasure to be captivated by Mamet, the master of tired, tough, talk. The characters in Heist, long-time thieves, have had everything burned off of them but the coolness at their core. They do not talk to communicate. They talk to test each other and show off in front of each other and sometimes to show off in front of those who don't get it. Their talk is like their thievery, stripped down, cynical, and clever. It's like a secret language from Planet Cool and it makes you feel that it just might be worth breaking the law just to be able to speak it.
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