(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
The 67th Cannes Film Festival will see the likes of Tommy Lee Jones, Jean-Luc Godard, Michel Hazanavicius, Bennett Miller, David Cronenberg, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh - among many others - up for the top gong of the Palme d'Or.
Bryan Singer, the acclaimed director of 'The Usual Suspects' and the 'X-Men' films, has been sued for claims that he raped a teenage actor in the late 1990s.
While the news of the 'Mrs Doubtfire' was met with plenty of excitement among film fans, one individual who wasn't overcome with joy was one of the key starts of the original hit comedy.
After actor Paul Walker's sudden death halted production on 'Fast & Furious 7', the wheels are back in motion and the late star's lookalike brothers have been brought in to help out in some shots.
Many critics begged director Michael Bay to stop after the first one, but the audiences disagreed and helped make the 'Transformers' trilogy one of the film industry's most profitable. And now it's been revealed that the fourth film 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' is actually the first of a new trilogy.
The stars were out in force for the MTV Movie Awards who all watched Johnny Depp reveal that the Movie of the Year award was bestowed 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'.
Oscar winning trio Sean Penn, Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem are joining forces to shoot a new film in Africa.
Six of the leading Hollywood film studios have shown a rare moment of unity by banding together to sue filesharing site Megaupload and its key staff, including its founder Kim Dotcom.
Mickey Rooney, the short in stature but huge in terms of range comic actor, has died aged 93.
Double Oscar winner Kevin Spacey is set to play Winston Churchill in 'Captain of the Gate', a forthcoming biopic that will focus on Churchill's rise to power in 1940.
When Paul Walker died in a road traffic accident in Los Angeles on November 30th, the status of 'Fast and Furious 7' (which had already began shooting) was thrown into turmoil.
James Rebhorn, the beloved character actor who played alongside some of the screen's giants such as Al Pacino, Michael Douglas and Robert De Niro, has died aged 65.
Andy Serkis, best known for his work as a motion capture actor (or indeed THE motion capture actor) thanks to his work on the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, 'King Kong', 'The Adventures of Tintin' and 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes', is set to direct a remake of 'The Jungle Book' over at Warner Brothers pictures.
'Memento' and 'Iron Man 3' star Guy Pearce is set to star alongside Johnny Depp in forthcoming mob thriller 'Black Mass', Variety has reported.
You may not know the name, but you've almost certainly heard his voice. Hal Douglas, the prolific voiceover master, has died aged 89.
The President of the United States took a detour from his official duties to try his hand at viral short films with 'Hangover' star Zach Galifianakis.
'Noah', the forthcoming biblical film from 'Black Swan' director Darren Aronofsky with Russell Crowe in the lead role as the ark-building saviour, has been banned in three Arab countries for "violating Islamic Law".
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.