When heist movies go well, you get something slinky like The Grifters or tricksy as House of Games. When they go wrong you get Ocean's Twelve. Flypaper has a tough job ahead, but it makes a quirky, stylish attempt to resurrect the genre which Soderbergh and co almost successfully killed off.

Patrick Dempsey stars as a man with some initially undisclosed mental health issues, but with some first class logic and deductive skills, who gets involved in two simultaneous robbery attempts at the same bank. After being taken hostage, he spends his time oscillating between the two groups of criminals, trying to find flaws in their respective plans in order to entrap the crooks, while also finding time to fall in love with Ashley Judd's bank clerk.

Copy picture

Although considerably less glamorous than Ocean's Eleven, the throwback, flashy, retro editing, the ensemble nature of the cast and and even an inclusion of a comedy cockney all point rather too heavily to its principle influence.

Thankfully, the film is far less smug or derivative than it could be. It's not quite as slick or sexy as the Ocean's movies, but it is steeped in personality. The humour doesn't always work, but even when a joke falls flat, it's hard to dislike the affable nature of the delivery or the deliverer.

Out of the cast, Dempsey fares very well as the jittery Tripp. His natural home still remains on the small screen but this role doesn't need an overload of screen presence to make it work; he displays enough personality and likeability to make his character the glue that binds this ensemble together. Although occasionally a little too loud, Brit Matt Ryan makes an impression as Gates, one of the bank robbers. Judd is the only weak link here, which may be more of the fault of the thin writing of her character than that of the usually perfectly likeable actress.

Although the ending is a little anti-climactic, you leave Flypaper in a good mood. While hardly pitch perfect, it's not the complete swindle of your time that its straight-to-DVD nature suggests it could have been.

Reviewed on: 11 Oct 2011
Share this with others on...
Flypaper packshot
A man gets embroiled in two simultaneous attempted bank heists.
Amazon link


Search database:

If you like this, try:

Ocean's Eleven