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....
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 movie with a hoidy toidy accent and it's the thing almost everyone remembers about that movie when it comes up. When this, a sadly weak movie, one of the Coen's worst is gone by in a few years, the only thing that people will remember other then it's a Coen Brothers movie, is Tom Hank's accent.
Tom Hanks plays Professor Goldthwaite Higginson Dorr PhD, a silver tongued devil who uses a widower's room for rent to play as a base for where Goldthwaite can assemble a group of men to put together a heist of a Riverboat Casino. The group plans on digging under the house and into the vault, rob the casino and seal the hole before anyone notices. The group is composed of a strong silent elder Asian man who has experince in digging, a trash talking black man who works as an inside man in the casino, a stuck up would be expert at explosives and equipment, and a big dumb football player who will be used as muscle. In short, a big room of bad stereotype cliches. Goldthwaite is the ringleader to manage the men and they're heist as well as keep company with the widower so that things don't get too suspicous.
What is the biggest failing with this movie? It's...average. It's an average movie. The humor mostly comes from Marlon Wayans as the Casino employee and his verbal sparring with J.K. Simmons as the equipment man and the only other joke coming from Simmons and his real job making props for TV commercials. What else is the movie is a remake of an older movie and not an original work that Joel and Ethan made. The only thing I can take away from this is that this will at least give Joel and Ethan experience before they made True Grit which opens later this year. There is some drama but when things get ugly, the issues get covered up a little too easily and there isn't much tension. The widower just saw something fishy going on, why am I not scared? For what I said about Tom Hanks above, it is a little funny to see him act silly and mug a little, it comes off looking real broad.
The only thing that I was interested in was seeing how it ends and again, tense things happen but there isn't much consequence and little to see me invest in the actions and since so much of what goes on hits one after the other there is no time for the impact. I've got two more Coen Brother movies to watch before I've seen all of they're work. Each of them I've seen pieces of and those pieces I can already tell will more then equal the sum of this whole.
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