Sleepwalking his way through life, Henry (Keanu Reeves) gets an unexpected wakeup call when he becomes an unwitting participant in a bank heist. Rather than give up the names of the real culprits, he takes the fall and discover his true calling. Having done the time, Henry reasons he may as well do the crime. Discovering a forgotten tunnel connecting the bank to a nearby theatre, he recruits his old cellmate Max (James Caan) to aid in the robbery, all the while playing the lead in the theatre's current production where he finds himself falling for his lead lady, Julie (Vera Farmiga).
This seems to be a misunderstood movie - when people think 'heist', they think "Man on a Ledge" or similar thriller, when it's actually a gentle comedy that is more similar to "Little Miss Sunshine" in terms of pace and style. The comedy feels natural and not at all forced - that's a hard thing to achieve, but they have pulled it off here. Vera Farminga and James Caan are amazing (as usual!). This is a must see if you liked "Little Miss Sunshine."
A man is imprisoned for unwittingly taking part in a bank robbery. He is arrested for his part and after completing one year of his three year sentence, seeing his life outside crumble apart and his wife leave him for the original getaway driver, Henry decides to commit the crime he was wrongly accused of in the first place.
In order to commit the crime Henry (Keanu Reeves) enlists an older, experienced conman (James Caan) to help him. Caan concocts a plan to tunnel into the bank from the theatre that backs onto the building. Reeves then bags himself a part in the current production (a production of the Chekhov play The Cherry Orchard no less) and the film follows with that quirky, indie tone as the pair attempt to dig and drill under the cover of rehearsals.
In many ways the film is quite pleasant, funny in parts and rather quaint in Reeves graceless-ness. It is going for that offbeat comedy that many independent films are famous for; however the casting of Reeves spoils it somewhat. His notoriously wooden style leaves some of the humour of the narrative a little flat. Henry’s character is so dull and Reeves portrayal so underwhelming that you barely think of him at all. His supporting cast, however, Caan and leading lady Vera Famiga give a real go and pulling the film back up from Keanu’s depths of seriousness; which is all well and good, except that Reeves is playing the lead after all.
Famiga’s charmingly sharp and sexy character is the film’s biggest triumph and the way her character brings the Chekhov play and the film’s narrative together brings a second level to the plot. Other than that however the film is pretty average and rather than appearing cool and offbeat just comes over a little daft.