Sometimes when films don’t get wide theatrical releases it can be more to do with the prevailing winds and clustered release schedules than anything to do with the quality on show. Based on Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch, A Life of Crime is an enjoyable crime caper which has a plot that twists and turns and keeps you guessing.
Louis (John Hawkes) and Ordell (Mos Def) cook up a plan to kidnap the wife of a corrupt real estate developer Frank (Tim Robbins). The bungling duo manage to abduct socialite Mickey (Jennifer Aniston) despite the inadvertent interference of wannabe lothario Marshall (Will Forte). Not to mention the fact they appear to be hiding out in a Nazi’s house (Mark Boone Jr.). When they approach Frank for a ransom he’s busily enjoying the pleasures of Melanie (Isla Fisher) and is not overly inclined to comply.
Life of crime isn’t going to set the world alight, yet it’s darkly amusing and consistently entertaining. The performances are all strong and director Daniel Schechter keeps the intrigue flowing and tension mounting. Whilst Life of Crime may be a small town crook it certainly has a big town mentality.
Life of Crime is out in cinemas and available on demand from September 5.