JOBLO'S MOVIE REVIEWS

SEARCH BY TITLE # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Small Time Crooks (2000)
star Printer-Friendly version
Review Date: May 15, 2000
Director: Woody Allen
Writer: Woody Allen
Producers: Jean Doumanian
Actors:
Woody Allen as Ray Winkler
Tracey Ullman as Frenchy Winkler
Plot:
A down-and-out dishwasher with a dubious past, comes up with a plan to clean out a bank's vault with the aid of a few of his dim-witted buddies, and some financing help from his gaudy wife. As a successful couple, the husband and wife must then figure out how they are going to "fit in" with all the other rich and cultured socialites.
Critique:
Welcome back, Woodrow! An easy predictable plot with funny, neurotic characters and plenty of hilarious one-liners certify this film as one of Woody's most accessible and entertaining of the past decade. Of course, it helps if you are already a huge Woody Allen fan (which I am), but Dreamworks knew something when they picked up this film, cause it is certainly does pack many a guffaw, and is easily one of the more mainstream films of Allen's career. Yes, fans of BANANAS and TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN won't be disappointed, but I think most anyone looking for a few simple laughs laced within a fast-paced and clever script will most likely enjoy this picture. In fact, it is the film's first hour which probably holds the most bang for your buck, with many audience members breaking out in large fits of laughter. The second half slows the chuckles down a little, but even then, enough smiles are provided to allow one to ease further into the film's hokey plot.

Of course, there isn't much originality to the overall story, most of which can be foreseen as the film moves along, but the characters are fun to watch, Woody is his typical stuttering goofy self and the feel-good ending will most likely satisfy the majority. I thought the conclusion was a little too corny for my taste, but then again, I'm a jaded ol' critic, I am : ) One thing to note is that the trailers make it seem like the film is all about the bank robbery, when really it actually takes off from that premise pretty early on. In fact, the three dum-dums who help Woody with the heist more or less disappear about halfway through the film, as Hugh Grant enters the picture. The standout in the cast would have to be Elaine May as the not-too-bright cousin in the bunch, and Tracey Ullman, who nails her role to perfection. It's also interesting to note that Michael Rapaport has finally given up on his career as an actor, and affectionately embraced the odd choice for a profession, playing the "doofus" in every other movie.

All in all, the film has plenty of laughs, delivers Woody firmly tucked back in his humor saddle, and presents a story interesting enough, albeit predictable, to satisfy all Allen fans, and even some of the rest of ya'll.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

JoBlo's T-Shirt Shoppe | support our site... Wear Our Gear!