(Michael Hoffman, 2012)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: A charming, breezy little comedy with a silly script from the Coen brothers and fun performances, 'Gambit' is nevertheless a forgettable romp.
With a script by the Coen brothers (Oscar winners for 'Fargo' among many others) and a leading comedy role from Colin Firth right after winning the Oscar for 'The King's Speech', as well as larger-than-life support from Alan Rickman, 'Gambit' should really have been a classic. But it's a little underwhelming to say the least.
Director Michael Hoffman struggles to find the proper tone to suit the numerous talents he has at his disposal in this mismatched art heist farce. It stars Firth as a prim and proper, humourless art expert looking to bring down his lurid boss (a delicious Alan Rickman in full 'Robin Hood' mode). He plans to sting him with a fake Monet and needs a feisty Texas rodeo queen (Cameron Diaz) and a veteran art faker (Tom Courtenay) to really seal the deal.
What it needed was a director with comedic chops to helm the boat amid the tidal waves of silly dialogue and outlandish situations. It needed a Blake Edwards to bring a certain 'Pink Panther' charm.
Firth is spot on, with Rickman and Courtenay adding fun but Diaz comes off as annoying while an overboard Stanley Tucci distracts from the whole piece.
And yet, despite its problems and cliches (how many comedies do we need with a Englishman losing his trousers in a hotel and being mistaken for a lothario?), 'Gambit' is a lot of fun with some real zingers in the script department. It isn't going to reinvent the wheel, but it keeps it turning nicely for 90 minutes without outstaying its welcome.
Check out the theatrical trailer for 'Gambit' HERE at Cinemas Online.
Other film news
Despite an Oscar nomination (and a BAFTA win) for his breakout supporting role in box office hit 'Captain Phillips', limo driver turned film star Barkhad Abdi is financially struggling.
Space thriller 'Gravity' was the big winner of the Oscars, storming the board and taking home seven wins out of its 10 nominations, including Best Director, but Steve McQueen's slave drama '12 Years A Slave' swooped in at the last minute to win the big one - Best Picture.
'Midnight Rider' - the forthcoming biopic about Allman Brothers guitarist Gregg Allman - has ceased filming after a train incident last week left one of the crew dead and several injured.
Adam Driver, best known for his work on Lena Dunham's TV dramedy series 'Girls', has reportedly been cast as the lead villain in the upcoming 'Star Wars' film.
Writer, director and actor Harold Ramis has died aged 69 as a result of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis - a disease that causes blood vessels to swell.
Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell have been cast in the lead roles of the upcoming 'Fantastic Four' reboot.
'A Good Day to Die Hard' and 'Jack Reacher' star Jai Courtney has reportedly been cast as Kyle Reese in the upcoming 'Terminator' reboot, 'Terminator: Genesis'.
Spike Jonze, who is personally up for three Oscars for writing, producing and co-penning a song for quirky drama 'Her', has been accused to stealing the idea from other screenwriters.
Alfonso Cuaron's space thriller 'Gravity' was the big winner at the 2014 BAFTAs ceremony over the weekend, scooping Best Director, Best British Film (it was shot in and had most of its effects done in England) and four other honours.
Shirley Temple, Hollywood's definitive child star, has died aged 85.
Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr is working on a new music album, the 'Iron Man' star revealed on his Facebook page.
Tom Cruise's comeback vehicle 'Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol' may not have been accomplished as smoothly as it looked as the star and producer is now being sued for $1bn (yes, billion) after a screenwriter claims his work was stolen for the film.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, the Oscar winning actor known for his work in 'Capote' and 'The Master' among many others, has been found dead in his apartment.
Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen's adopted daughter, has published details of her alleged sexual abuse in 1992 at the hands of the 'Blue Jasmine' filmmaker.
Maximilian Schell, the Austrian-born actor and director, has died at age 83. He was renowned for his critically acclaimed performance in Nazi war crimes drama 'Judgement at Nuremberg' among many others.
Animated sequel 'Despicable Me 2' was the highest grossing film of last year with a UK haul of over Â£47m according to a new report published by Britain's film industry.
Oscar winner Quentin Tarantino is suing Gawker Media after the website posted a link to download the filmmaker's leaked screenplay for 'The Hateful Eight'.
In another boost for space drama 'Gravity' this awards season, its director Alfonso Cuaron has just bagged the coveted Directors Guild of America award.
'Django Unchained' filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is "very, very depressed." The source of this upset is the result of a "traitor" who leaked the finished first draft of his upcoming Western 'The Hateful Eight'. So distraught is the 'Pulp Fiction' Oscar winner that he has scrapped the film.
In a double header of 'Star Wars' news, it has been confirmed by JJ Abrams that the script for the new film in the franchise is officially done while also dropping a possible casting bombshell.