Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast and crew interviews; Behind the
scenes featurettes; Trailer; TV spots.
TAKE five guys with no brains and a job thats too good
to be true and you have the recipe for one of the funniest crime
capers in recent years.
Welcome to Collinwood is the latest to emerge from the George
Clooney/Steven Soderbergh stable and is another offbeat addition
to the quirky heist scenario.
A remake of the highly-regarded Italian comedy, Persons Unknown
(or Big Deal on Madonna Street), the film is a wonderfully
written and supremely well-acted character ensemble about the
perils of pulling a job when you are not equipped to deal with
When petty thief, Cosimo (Luis Guzman), is given the plan for
the perfect heist (his Bellini) while serving time, he resolves
to get out of jail fast, but needs to find a Mullinski
to replace him behind bars.
But while the ensuing search turns up loads of people who would
be willing to help with the job itself, no one is available to
do the time and one double-cross later puts Sam Rockwells
moronic romeo, Pero, in charge of an inept crew comprised of William
H Macys frustrated single father, Riley; Isaiah Washingtons
do-gooder, Leon; Andrew Davolis gigolo, Basil; and Michael
Jeters ageing thief, Toto, as well as Cosimos girl,
Rosalind (played by Patricia Clarkson).
Helping them along the way is George Clooneys wheelchair-bound
safe-cracking expert, Jerzy, while hot on their tail is the law.
And while the set-up is not unlike many other crime thrillers
you are likely to see, the fun is to be had in the performances,
with the likes of Rockwell and Macy, in particular, turning their
dim-witted losers into the type of loveable rogues that the audience
can root for.
But then Welcome to Collinwood is the type of film which replaces
the hip sophistication of Clooneys previous crime caper,
Oceans 11, with
the hilarious ineptitude of a Marx Brothers movie, told Coen style.
Writers and directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, prove tremendously
adept at showcasing the hopelessness of the crews situation,
rising above the conventions of the genre to produce a movie that
retains an element of freshness throughout.
Visually distinctive, and boasting a well-judged soundtrack,
this is a sweet-natured, if quirky, comedy that should prove a
fairly safe bet for a cracking night out. The Clooney/Soderbergh
sideshow has, once again, proved itself to be a reliable combination.