Out Of Sight


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Out Of Sight
"Even Jim Carrey couldn't get away with a plot as daft as this and since it's based on an Elmore Leonard novel, you wonder whose to blame."

How many bank robbers use charm instead of heavy weaponry. Only one. Cary Grant. Except he's undercover. Six feet undercover. George (Dr Swoon) Clooney stands in as "Gentleman" Jack Foley. He can't act, but he can smile. And he doesn't mind taking his shirt off.

There are many worse things in this film than ER's favourite medic. Well, there are some. The story, for starters.

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One of Miami's Federal Marshals is a woman, Karen Sisco (don't call her Kid, okay?). She wears a designer leather topcoat, that would have the S&M babyjanes blabbering for birch twigs, and handles a shooter as if cold steel did it for her. She has the kind of body that blows fuseboxes half a block away and is played by Jennifer Lopez, like the principal mouth in a lip gloss ad.

On the night of a jailbreak, Karen drives into the penitentiary car park, a stone's throw from where a bunch of dirty, desperate men are tunnelling under the wire. One of these is Foley. In the ensuing mayhem, Foley and Karen find themselves in the trunk of a car, being driven by Buddy (Ving Rhames), Jack's accomplice. In the time it takes Buddy to exit the scene of the escape, Jack has (almost) charmed the pants off her (that comes later) and she has certainly smitten him. It must have something to do with the sardine technique of foreplay - physical contact in a tight spot, with on-road vibration and limited oxygen.

If that isn't enough to send you whimpering out of the muliplex, there is more. After escaping from her predicament, she persuades the FBI to assign her to the case, so that she can catch up with Jack and maybe continue where they left off. Even Jim Carrey couldn't get away with a plot as daft as this and since it's based on an Elmore Leonard novel, you wonder whose to blame.

Steven Soderbergh, the director who caused whirlpools with his debut, Sex, Lies, And Videotape, and then hit dead calm, totally misjudges the style. He appears more concerned with offering Clooney star breaks than building a mood, or giving the secondary characters some slack. Tarantino understood what Leonard was about in Jackie Brown. Soderbergh cannot decide whether to lighten the comedy, or tighten the thrills. As a result, the gags are blanks, the love interest loses any and the action appears contrived.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Out Of Sight packshot
An escaped con and a sexy Miami federal marshal have good chemistry in a tight situation.
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Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Scott Frank, based on a novel by Elmore Leonard

Starring: George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Luis Guzman, Dennis Farina, Isaiah Washington, Don Cheadle, Albert Brooks, Catherine Keener, Steve Zahn, Nancy Allen

Year: 1998

Runtime: 123 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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