Heist movies can be some of the most entertaining and clever films out there if executed properly. There are only a few elements that they have to need to work well, most importantly the heist itself. The latest, The Art of the Steal features a great cast including Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon, Jay Baruchel, Chris Diamantopoulos, Terrance Stamp, and Kenneth Welsh, but does it have the crime to back it up?
The Art of the Steal follows a third rate motorcycle daredevil and semi-reformed art thief who agrees to get back into the con game and pull off one final lucrative art theft with his untrustworthy brother. Reassembling the old team, he comes up with a plan to steal a priceless historical book, but the successful heist leads to another far riskier plan devised by his brother that has both of them with separate agendas. From the beginning this film is somewhat fighting with itself. On one side it has a great cast and a decently crafted story that works fine, but on the other the pacing is a bit off. The cast all fit right into their parts to bring what could have been a throw away type of film and elevating it to something more fun to watch. With any film of this genre you always look to see who is screwing who and where they are headed and this film does not disappoint. They set the tone right off the bat with a caper that in turn sets up where all the characters will be heading for the meat of the film. Once we are taken to the current story, things slow down a bit, but more often in a good way while you watch the events unfold. Russell is one of those actors that has just gotten cooler with age, bringing a gritty harder edge to his performance that was always there, but more prominent now at his current age. The rest of the cast play off of each other perfectly to make for a fun time.
The most important aspect of this genre, the heist itself is well handled and will catch some people by surprise, while others may catch on early on, but still delivers. It is great seeing Kurt Russell back on the screen doing his thing so that alone makes this film worth checking out, but if you enjoy a good heist film then give this film a try when it hits Blu-ray and DVD on May 6th.