(Review originally written at 25 October 2006)

This movie is not really my idea of an exciting and or tense one.

In the '00's and late '90's, lots of heist suddenly became popular again. Lots of movies were made to revive the genre ("Entrapment", "The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)", "The Italian Job (2003)", "Ocean's Eleven (2001)", etc) that was at its peak in the '40's. Most heist movies tried to adapt the style and atmosphere to modern standards, by putting in lots of pace and action. "The Score" tries to be more traditional, by putting in many old genre elements such as backstabbing characters, a 'good' and honest thief, a couple of twists and many other things. It however doesn't really work out. The story doesn't flow well or quick enough, mainly because it features too many sidelines and it takes unnecessary long before the main action occurs.

The story and concept of this movie might had worked out fine in a '40's film-noir type of heist movie. The story and concept just doesn't fit in a 2001 kind of environment and style of film-making. The movie is now nothing more than a slow moving not exciting enough heist movie, that is still made interesting by its big-star cast.

Of course by having a cast with actors like Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando and Angela Bassett in it, expectations are high. It already is for most reason enough to watch this movie. I'll admit that with a different cast with less big names in it, I probably would have never watched this movie and I wonder who would have had. The actors give the movie a certain class and lift it to an higher level. Robert De Niro does a good job as an aging thief but even better was Edward Norton in a sort of double-role. The Marlon Brando and Angela Bassett roles don't seem to be significant enough for the movie and it seems that the movie could had done without them. They provide the movie with some unnecessary and not always interesting subplots that makes the movie unnecessary slow and too layered. Especially disappointing when considering that this was Brando's last featured film role before his death in 2004. But I'm sure that if his character was played by a different and unknown actor, I wouldn't have even complained about the character. It's just purely the fact that he is being played by Brando that makes his character and its significance for the movie so disappointing. All the more reason why it's disappointing is that this is also the only movie that features Brando and De Niro in one movie together. They both played the same character in "The Godfather" and "The Godfather: Part II" in and they're both big names in the genre, so more was to be expected from their first collaboration. I also couldn't help thinking in every of the Brando sequence's; 'Is he wearing any pants right now or not?', because of the known fact that Brando refused to wear any pants all the time during the shooting of the movie.

The movie still tries to put some life into the movie by giving it some twists and creating some unpredictable charistics for the two main characters. It does provide the movie with some good moments but it doesn't help to really make the movie a more exciting or tense one to watch. I found the movie to be terribly lacking in some good pace and tension to make this movie a pleasant- and good to watch movie. This was just not really my idea of a great, original, tense movie.

But of course the movie still does have its good points. The earlier mentioned big-star cast is definitely one of those good points. The movie also has some good production values, with good looking sets and camera-work. It makes sure that this movie still remains a perfectly watchable one to watch maybe once. After that also all of the surprises will be already gone of course.

Not my idea of a great, tense and entertaining movie but a good and interesting enough one to watch, still. I just hope that in the future Frank Oz will stick to directing only comedies instead. His talent obviously lies there.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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