disappointing — 5 years ago
(spoilers, i guess.)
I’m pretty baffled by this, and I’m sorry this is so long but this movie just infuriates me.
Some people hate critics and established critical consensus, but I appreciate the existence of a canon of sorts, something to point me out to good movies, and usually I agree that they are, indeed, good.
But not this one.
I don’t mean to completely dismiss this, because there are parts of it that I enjoyed. Alec Guinness is fun, a good performance, some of the interaction between the heist team is funny, and I love the giddy out-of-nowhere absurdity of the spiral staircase descent.
But, man, this is just not a good movie. It’s supposed to be a comedy, I think, but there’s not really anything significantly funny in it. Presumably there is supposed to be humor in the ineptness of the thieves, but they really aren’t inept enough to be humorous. And it’s not interesting as a drama, either, because until the last twenty minutes of the movie, there’s basically no conflict. Yes, they have a few minor hitches in their little heist, but they’re so minor that there’s essentially no tension.
When things finally go wrong, in Paris, it just seems contrived. Sure, they chase after the girls who have the gold Eiffel towers. Sure they have trouble getting onto the boat because they are not prepared at all to board it. But when they’re attempting to get their passports stamped and Holland gets his out but Pendlebury can’t find his, Holland waits for him? Really? When the boat could leave at any minute, possibly condemning them to prison? There’s a line between what is funny and dramatic and what is contrived and aggravating, and that scene crosses it.
I just don’t understand. What is funny here? Where is the great wit of the script? Some of it is amusing, but it just wasn’t enough to keep me interested, and I’m not someone to write off old movies for being boring.