Critic’s review: 3/5
Star cast: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Adrian Martinez, Gerald McRaney, Rodrigo Santoro
Director: Glenn Ficara, John Requa
Genre: Comic Thriller
Running time: 104 minutes
‘The Gentleman Thief’
Plot – The Master con artist Nicky portrayed by Will Smith and the gorgeous Jess (Margot Robbie) are the two main players in this movie. Jess tries to con Nicky and is caught by him who gives her and her partner some advice about conning. Jess finds Nicky and begs him to take her under his wing by giving him his life details. Nicky recruits Jess into his team of thieves who are very highly skilled, mentoring Jess on how to pinch purses and swipe wallets like a pro. Nicky ends up falling for Jess through their term as partners. Neither person’s motivation not being clear is what keeps this movie so interesting – Who is conning who? Nicky conning Jess or vice-versa. In the second half of the movie the action moves to Buenos Aires a couple of years later, where Nicky is working on a scam, working for Rafael Garriga (Rodrigo Santoro) who is a billionaire motorsport team owner. Owens (Gerald McRaney) is the head of Garriga’s Security and a suspicious man. The ending has its share of surprises.
Movie scan – Having a lot of charm has always been Will Smith’s strength. Brilliantly, Will has his best show on this time with a nice con movie that flows well mostly till the second half starts dragging along and is slow and mildly lumbering, and the movie stops being too much fun. The Directors Glen Ficarra and John Requa (also the scriptwriter) keep the flow smooth and quick.
Will Smith and Robbie have brilliant chemistry together; and she is nearly as charming as him, with a natural gift for comedy. The relationship between the two is sadly not well developed. The romance between the two con artistes without complete trust on each other, makes the film feel half-baked.
The filmmakers stack up twist after twist, and the fast paced tone of the film becomes heavier and darker with the stakes going up. The final twist for me is too far-fetched for a con film, and really wish they had continued with the quick and breezy touch the movie started with.