This is a heist movie directed by Steve Soderbergh, who also directed the well-known Ocean Trilogy heist films (Eleven, Twelve, and Thirteen). Although there’s a formula to this genre, the characters, their situation, and the sprinklings of comedy are ingredients that make each one different. Set in West Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina, this story is about two down-on-their-luck brothers played by Channing Tatum and Adam Driver. Channing decides to plan a robbery soon after he is let go from his construction job at the Charlotte Motor Speedway because his limp from an old football injury is considered a liability at work. They bring in their hairdresser sister to help. To round out their crew, they recruit an imprisoned explosive expert, Joe Bang, played by Daniel Craig, whose British accent is replaced by a good ‘ole boy twang. As a condition of Joe Bang joining the group, he asks to have his two hilarious hillbilly brothers join the heist team. The film is enjoyable to watch as we see how the colorful characters plot, ply, and plow through such a convoluted, but clever undertaking. Although there are underlying tones of injustice within our society—think haves vs. have-nots mixed in with a bit of Robin Hood–there is nothing preachy about the movie. Just grab a box of popcorn and watch the story unfold amidst the rural settings and classic American stock car action.
The acting is good by Adrien Brody, who plays big brother Frankie to Hayden Christensen’s James/Jimmy, but the lines and story could be better. The movie is about two brothers with conflicting goals. Frankie, who just gets released from prison after 10 years of serving, has to pay a favor that requires stealing from a bank. As much as Frankie keeps declaring his love for his brother, he gets James involved in the heist. Continue reading
According to the author, James Grippando, his story is inspired by actual events that happened in Miami—a heist carried out by amateurs. The heist starts out boldly and goes well. The aftermath is when things start to unravel. The amateur crew comprises Ruban Betancourt, a man disillusioned with the law; his brother-in-law, Jeffrey, an overweight, drug addict leaching off his mother; and his uncle, Pinky, an ex-convict who was nicknamed as such because of how far down his manhood reaches to his pinky. They hire two other people, both former convicts. One of them is the driver whose role is to ditch their getaway vehicles. The other one is the insider who smooths the entry for the big steal. Continue reading