Director Steven Soderbergh’s 1998 thriller is yet another highly intriguing and entertaining but not entirely great attempt at filming another of Elmore Leonard’s esteemed Florida low-life thrillers.
It’s a problem that George Clooney just doesn’t seem the petty crook bank-robbing type, nor Jennifer Lopez the rifle-toting FBI agent kind. But they try very hard to convince and entertain and they certainly twinkle and sparkle a lot in their improbable romance on the run.
Clooney plays career bank robber Jack Foley who breaks out of jail with the help of his buddy Bragg (Ving Rhames). They head for Detroit to pull off one last big job, but US Marshal Karen Sisco (Lopez) is after them. Foley kidnaps her but the duo end up mutual attracted and Sisco has second thoughts about arresting the cons.
Yet it’s just hard to believe a word of this far-fetched plot when everybody seems to be only play-acting and giving tongue-in-cheek performances in putting over Scott Frank’s Oscar nominated screenplay. And Out of Sight does flag a bit in paces between the action and the quirky, jolly banter. Nevertheless, Anne V Coates was also Oscar nominated for her Best Film Editing.
However, Soderbergh’s direction is imaginative, Clooney and Lopez keep it going, and there’s an extremely cultish cast to distract and delight us: Don Cheadle, Dennis Farina, Albert Brooks, Steve Zahn, Catherine Keener, Nancy Allen, Michael Keaton and Samuel L Jackson.
It is one of those self-consciously clever films that feels that it is OK to have no opening credits.
© Derek Winnert 2014 Classic Movie Review 1001
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