Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Code: Grade D

The Code (aka Thick as Thieves) (2009)
Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, Robert Forster; Director Mimi Leder.

How does a big star like Morgan Freeman get roped into projects like this? He is a master jewel thief who recruits Banderas, apparently a professional thief as well, to steal two Faberge eggs from “Romanov’s” a Russian jeweler in NYC. Stupidly but predictably, the owner of the shop gives a guided tour of the impenetrable security, demonstrating the biometric passwords, laser scanners, motion detectors, and the biggest steel vault door you have ever seen. But this is all no match for our thieves. Catherine Z. Jones looked good dancing between the laser beams in some other movie with this cliché scene, whereas Banderas slips by on a mechanic’s crawler. In the end, there are complex double-crosses and surprise plot revelations that contradict whatever fragile plausibility the beginning of the movie ever had, so the story only works for people with memory deficits and short attention span, which is maybe the intended audience. It’s a waste of acting talent, although the players do their best. It was nice to see Robert Forster on screen again.

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