The Code

The Code


Reviewed by: Leanne McGrath

The presence of Morgan Freeman usually guarantees a movie is worth watching - but this abomination is possibly the worst heist flick ever made. The script is lazy and derivative and the two leads - Freeman and Antonio Banderas - coast through without a drop of chemistry. Only the usually reliable Robert Forster and token babe Radha Mitchell make any effort, despite their parts being woefully underwritten.

The plot sees Freeman’s renowned art thief Ripley (as talented as the one in the hit movie series) recruit Banderas’s petty crook Gabriel Martin to pull off, you’ve guessed it, one last heist. Their haul is two Faberge eggs worth $40million from the vault of Romanov jewellers in New York. They have to steal the gems for Russian gangster Nicky, whose grandfather made them in 1917. Ridiculous doesn’t quite cover it.

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Anyway, the heist is allegedly impossible so cue lots of Ocean’s Eleven and Mission: Impossible style moves to bust into the vault. It’s all been done before and miles better.

The script is cringeworthy, with lines like: “Some people were born to compose music, some to split the atom… I was born to steal.”

Well, Mr Freeman, you certainly robbed me of an hour-and-a-half of my life.

This movie suggests that while Freeman is one of the greatest supporting actors ever — Shawshank Redemption, Se7en — he doesn’t have the clout to command a screen in a lead role.

Unlike the Ocean’s series it desperately tries to emulate, The Code has no humour – although you will laugh at the dreadfully cheesy Spanish guitar music played every time Banderas comes on screen. Throw in a couple of gratuitous sex scenes and you have a complete heist-by-numbers movie.

Director Mimi Leder did a decent job with The Peacemaker and Deep Impact but doesn’t even try to do anything new here. Don’t waste your time, rent The Score with Robert De Niro, Heat or The Italian Job instead.

Reviewed on: 06 Jul 2009
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A renowned thief enlists the help of a petty thief to pull of one last heist.
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Director: Mimi Leder

Writer: Ted Humphrey

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, Radha Mitchell, Robert Forster, Rade Serbedzija, Michael Hayden, Marcel Iures, Gary Werntz, Velizar Binev, Antony Byrne, Katie Chonacas, Constantine Gregory, Tom Hardy, Todd Jensen, Corey Johnson

Year: 2009

Runtime: 104 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US, Germany


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If you like this, try:

Ocean's Eleven