If you've never enjoyed Alec Guinness in theclassic 1955 British comedythat inspired it, the Coen brothers' remake ofThe Ladykillersmay well prove hilarious. For starters, it's got Tom Hanks in a variation of the Guinness role, eccentrically channeling Colonel Sanders, Tennessee Williams, and Edgar Allan Poe in his southern-fried performance as Prof. Goldthwait Higgins Dorr, Ph.D. (named after an actual arts institute curator from the Coens' native Minnesota), a deliciously verbose con man who needs a secret headquarters for his five-man plot to rob a riverboat casino moored on the Mississippi. In the film's funniest and least-caricatured role (and even she can't elude the Coens' comedic stereotyping), Irma P. Hall plays the churchgoing widow who rents a room to Dorr, whose crew of "musicians" (in keeping with the original's plot) use the lady's root cellar to tunnel to the casino's cash-rich counting room. Rampant mishaps ensue, the body count rises among Dorr's band of idiots (including Marlon Wayans, spouting nonstop profanities), and the Coens put their uniquely stylish stamp on everything. It's a funny movie, allowing for some nagging flatness to the material, but if you've seen the original (and other vintage comedies from the heyday of Britain's low-budget Ealing Studios), you'll eventually wonder,what were they thinking? Accounting for all the qualities that grace any Coen movie (this being the first time the brothers have officially shared directorial credit), this revampedLadykillersis a mixed blessing, both entertaining and superfluous.--Jeff Shannon
So I'm progressing through the Coen Brothers movie panoply and I come here, where once again (as in Intolerable Cruelty (Widescreen Edition) the Coen Brothers rely on a big name lead (Tom Hanks here, George Clooney there) to carry the movie while frankly it seems they coast a bit. I'd say they should stay away from borrowed material (this is a nominal remake of a 50's crime caper), except for the excellent No Country for Old Men which I know is coming soon in my journey and … more
I felt something a little amiss with this movie as it started. It started okay, not great but then I saw it and it was a harbinger of things to come.... Tom Hanks...... in a comedy role......using a corny accent. The last time I remember Tom Hanks with the accent was in The Volunteers, a Peace Corps comedy from years ago where Tom Hanks played a New England blue blood who is escaping his debtors and talked the whole … more
The Coen Brothers in a very underwhelming (for them) movie about a silver tougned con man and his gang of criminals to rob a Casino and use an old woman's house as cover. This is not the Coen's best work.
The Coen Brothers versus The Ladykillers could be a more appropriate title for this mixed bag of a film. Based loosely (very) on the Alec Guinness classic, this seems yet another outlet for the Coens to parody the South. The plot is known: a fancy speaking Professor of the Ancient Languages (Tom Hanks) gathers miscreants from a small town in the South to rob the quasi-legal money from a gambling boat on the Mississippi. The staging facility is a room rented from a heady gospel-infatuated yet strong … more