Starring: Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes, Isla Fisher
Director: Daniel Schechter
Running Time: 100 mins
Life Of Crime is an American film about a high-class woman who is kidnapped by two novice criminals in the hope that her husband will pay the ransom of $1 million. However, when they realise that getting that money isn’t going to be as easy as they thought, the entire plan begins to go awry.
This wasn’t the highest-rated film on release, but it is still a decent and engaging black comedy. Nothing is particularly laugh-out-loud hilarious, and due to the lack of hugely funny jokes, it’s not a particularly rewatchable movie, however it still stands that this has a properly interesting story and decent enough performances to make it a relatively impressive film.
Let’s start, however, with the comedy. When I say it’s not the most laugh-out-loud hilarious thing you’ve ever seen, I don’t mean it’s a dreary borefest, because a black comedy isn’t meant to be massively funny, but subtly witty and surreal. At points, Life Of Crime definitely is subtly witty and surreal, and does a good job at subverting the sometimes predictable kidnapping genre.
However, you won’t find yourself having as much fun as you’d expect from this film. Some of the obvious slapstick gags fall flat on their face more often than not, whilst some of the more zany characters aren’t as entertaining as they’re really meant to be, but despite that, there is still a degree of enjoyability to be had here, just don’t expect a riotous laughter-fest.
Now, the best thing about this movie is the story, which is odd for an indie crime-comedy, where jokes are more often the focus than a good plot. It’s properly unpredictable, with way more intricate alliances and deceptions than you’d expect, thanks to the strong writing of the various characters’ relationships, and that makes for a good exciting watch that will definitely keep you engaged all the way through.
It’s not a heart-pounding thriller, but there’s no denying that the intelligence and unpredictability of this plot is a big success, and most likely the reason why you won’t ever get bored with it.
Finally, let’s have a look at the performances. The central characters are played by Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes and Tim Robbins, who are all pretty good, but nothing stunning, although their performances do make for good laughs from time to time. Oddly, it’s Isla Fisher, in a pretty small role, who really stands out here. She’s by far the most energetic and funny person in the movie, whilst her character is one of the strangest and most unpredictable, and although all of the other actors still do a great job in their various roles, Fisher is the one to watch here.
Overall, I’ll give Life Of Crime a 7.2, because despite not having the greatest sense of humour, it’s got a really strong plot and decent performances that will keep you engaged right the way through.