Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary by director James Foley;
Writer commentary; Cast commentary; Cast and crew interviews;
Deleted scenes; Anatomy of a Scene.
IT HAS often been declared that one con movie is just like another;
the trick being to make the viewer believe they are seeing something
With that in mind, James Foleys Confidence pulls a neat
deception, by keeping the viewer consistently entertained without
ever seeming too borrowed from movies such as The Sting, or Oceans
A slick, wordy and effortlessly hip affair, Confidence is very
much a triumph of style over substance, but viewers should be
having so much fun trying to figure it out, that they wont
Ed Burns stars as Jake Vig, a sharp and polished grifter, whose
crew has inadvertently swindled millions of dollars from an accountant
for Dustin Hoffmans eccentric crime boss, Winston King.
Aware that this will make him a marked man, Jake offers to repay
The King by pulling another con - the biggest of his
career - at a mark of Kings choosing. But he finds the odds
increasingly stacked against him as, first, King chooses to target
a ruthless banker, with ties to organised crime, and then saddles
him with one of his own henchmen, to ensure there is no repeat
of the scam formula.
To complicate matters still further, Jake has to contend with
the wayward advances of Rachel Weiszs ambitious pickpocket,
with whom he shares an obvious attraction, as well as the presence
of his old nemesis - tenacious FBI agent, Gunther Butan (Andy
Garcia), who is determined to get his man.
The ensuing scam, involving corporate loans, creative accounting,
wire transfers and offshore accounts, is packed with double cross
after triple cross, leading to the inevitable revelations - most
of which viewers shouldnt see coming.
Much of the fun in watching Confidence, therefore, lies in trying
to guess the cons before they happen, while the top-notch cast
exudes a charisma that is completely infectious.
Burns is better here than he has been for some time, possessing
a streetwise cool that enables him to mix it well with the more
heavyweight likes of Hoffman and Garcia, while his chemistry with
Weisz is particularly effective.
And the support players, including Luis Guzman, Paul Giamatti
and Brian Van Holt, bring a great deal of gravitas to even the
But it is the old-timers who appear to be having the most fun,
with Garcia trading well on his no-nonsense persona, even though
he may lack the finesse of previous incarnations, and Hoffman,
especially, revelling in the opportunity to play a sleazy crime
boss who romps away with just about every scene he is in.
The movie is at its most electrifying whenever these two are
on screen, with both rising to the challenge presented by Doug
Jungs twisting script, and Foleys slick direction
(which evokes memories of the testosterone-fuelled sharpness of
his previous Glengarry Glen Ross).
And even though there are moments when viewers might be able
to guess certain outcomes, given that the path towards them remains
so well-trodden, Foleys film remains such a confident performer
that they should enjoy being taken along for its ride.