Published Jan 01, 2006It's damn near impossible to make a slick, smart, cool American ensemble-cast caper flick without evoking comparisons to Reservoir Dogs. Without the gratuitous gore and edginess, James Foley's Confidence is more like Reservoir Puppies.
Ed Burns is Jake Vig, a mid-level grifter on the wrong end of a scam that finds him indebted to a libertine crime boss known as "the King" (Dustin Hoffman in a gloriously bombastic performance). As a means of paying off the debt, Vig agrees to put his crew to work for the King in the mother of all grifts. Vig talks about the perfect con being like a play where everyone involved knows their parts flawlessly except the mark (the victim). And with five million at stake and multiple marks and decoys, this con is going to have to be a Tony award-worthy production.
Foley (At Close Range, Glengarry Glen Ross) puts his flare and affinity for dark, noir-ish thrillers to good use but never at the expense of Doug Jung's clever and humorous script. Opening with Vig's death at the hands of the five million mark's henchman (Morris Chestnut), the movie recounts how we arrived at this moment and dissects the anatomy the perfect crime. Was it the money that killed him, his love for and the subsequent betrayal by his newly recruited moll (Rachel Weisz) or a combination?
Foley and Jung, with the invaluable assistance of a top notch cast who chew through the script like ravenous jackals, craft a showy, bouncy and unpredictable film where you’re never quite sure who's in and who's out. Plus: commentary tracks, Sundance Channel "making of," deleted scenes, music videos. (Lions Gate)