Sunday, June 29, 2014

Foolproof (2003) Review:

Computer hacking and corporate espionage aren't new plot lines to spy thrillers. Someone needs a specific item, so either they themselves or another skilled individual does the job. The idea of course is to get by without being detected and leaving no trace that anything had happened to begin with. When a trio of college groupies become a theoretical genius machine and figure out how to break into a jewelry store, they end up being blackmailed to perform a much bigger task. This particular idea isn't too extreme if it were not for such obvious plot holes. Surprisingly, the film entertains at a level that was unexpected.

Ryan Reynolds before he could fly in a green suit,...
or any other comic property
The trio of theorists that devise such an elaborate plan are Kevin (a before really famous Ryan Reynolds), Sam (Kristin Booth) and Rob (Joris Jarsky). And appropriately, these actors do look like college students for their age relative to this movie. Most notably, this is before Ryan Reynolds’ got ripped for future comic book movies. It seems a little preposterous though that these three are the mega geniuses who create this perfect heist blueprint. No one really defined themselves as the brains of the outfit. The script provided the necessary dialog to make them sound smart but to look like they were real geniuses was another story. The man behind the blackmail scandal is Leo Gillette played by underrated actor David Suchet. This was also the man who played the leader of the hijacked 747 in Kurt Russell's Executive Decision (1996).

Just like before, Suchet is able to pull off his character with such ease that it’s difficult not to see the threat that he holds. However, some of his character’s decision making is a slight bit silly. One of them is - why blackmail these theorists to actually pull off the heist? At the beginning of the film, the main characters demonstrate how breaking into the system is done but who's to say that they know every single tactic of espionage? That also includes gun use and cable suspensions? If this is the case, I'm not sure these college grads are as innocent as they appear to be. Nevertheless, sure these wiseguys can crack the code to a security system but could you really trust them to pull off a heist with expertise? I think it's expecting a little too much even though they did do it well.

Particularly, the idea of having amateurs do professional work isn't a bad idea for a comedy, which is what this thriller is supposed to have in it. Director and writer William Phillips tried but there doesn't seem to be enough of a comedic angle to his direction. The majority of the qwerky lines come from Ryan Reynolds, respectively. But it shouldn't just be Reynolds carrying these moments. Plus, there could've been several funny scenes involving characters getting familiar with how to do espionage. Then, have them slowly grow and become more self-efficient. In spite of this though, Phillips produced a script that at least worked effectively at defining its characters and having them develop evenly,...for the most part. At points, there are twists in the story line. This isn't bad at all, but it then undermines a good portion of the character development.

David Suchet
The quality to the rest of the production is adequately made but is nothing out of the ordinary or special. There doesn't seem much of any CGI but the practical effects used work and look real and that's good. The cinematography by Derek Rogers who also worked on Cube (1997) provided the right scenery but again nothing that stands out. Even Jim McGrath's music is a turn down. Mainly this reason is because his score is inaccessible. It still wasn't an amazing score, but it did provide easy listening. McGrath's themes contained jazz related instruments that attempted at lightening the mood of the story to a comical level. At times there were contemporary music inserted in various scenes and they too weren't bad, but didn't elevate the viewing. It's an ok watch but it's not worth a second view.

The script has its moments of being clever and its cast works. Yet, the frequency at which it works at being a funny spy thriller is not very often. It’s okay for a one-time watch.

Points Earned --> 6:10

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