Wow! With this title only gracing four screens across Australian cinemas on its release this week I was not expecting much.
I must admit I’m not overly familiar with Elmore Leonard, and it was only after seeing this film that I realised his stature amongst my favourite American writers.
The brains behind the TV show Justified, classics like 3:10 to Yuma, and modern fare like Get Shorty, Jackie Brown and Out of Sight, Leonard’s key goal was to create material that “didn’t sound like writing”.
I’ve also never really been a fan of Jennifer Aniston, but this might well be her best role so far.
As Micky Dawson – trophy wife to the unpleasant Frank – Tim Robbins, she becomes the victim of a kidnapping, at the hands of a couple of amateur crims – Ordell – Mos Def, and Louis – John Hawkes (Lincoln, Eastbound and Down.)
While the recipe may not be anything we haven’t seen before – think American Hustle meets Pain & Gain via Fargo and The Big Lebowski, the end result is a solid piece of intriguing entertainment.
Isla Fisher and Aniston are both excellent, and this really feels like a top vehicle for both of them. With the latter also an Executive Producer on the film – (notably the last credit for Elmore Leonard before his death in 2013 – the film is dedicated to him), Aniston is showing smarts I never imagined her capable of, both in the sense of her acting in a quality dramatic role, and her involvement in the team at the helm of this endeavour.
I’m tipping this could be the start of her own McConaissance.
3 & 1/2 Stars.