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DVD Review – Life of Crime

2 min read

What do you get when you mix a cheating husband, a mistress, a couple of bumbling ex-cons, a Nazi extremist, the 70s and Jennifer Aniston? Answer: Life of Crime. 

Life of Crime DVDThe Daniel Schechter directed film centers on upper class suburban married couple Mickey (Jennifer Aniston) and Frank (Tim Robbins) Dawson as extortion targets of inexperienced ex-cons Ordell Robbie (Yasiin Bey, better known as Mos Def) and Louis Gara (John Hawkes), whose plans go horribly awry due to the Frank’s unexpected mistress Melanie (Isla Fisher) and Mickey’s unrequited friend Marshall (Will Forte).

The film creates a smooth 70s undertone with the suburbia setting and fashion designs, however, Schechter’s take on crime satire needs improvement in storyline development. With occasional comical moments, the movie severely lacks emphasis on suspense and excitement; vital elements to a successful crime film. Personally, Life of Crime would have fared better with faster direction and heavier plot lines to be certified as a crime/comedy film.

Aniston is effective in her role as the tolerant socialite Mickey Dawson, but the spotlight beams on Hawke’s characterization as the aggressive but empathetic ex-con Louis Gara, once again highlighting his versatile performance ability. Paired with Bey’s Ordell, the ex-con men are perfect opposites that are well executed on screen. Forte is excellent as the bumbling, rejected Marshall, who’s role serves as occasional comic relief, validating his well-known ability for awkward character portrayals. Each character shines in their role, but is unfortunately let down by the lull atmosphere of the story.

The Jennifer Aniston led film based on Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch provides a subtle mixture of both drama and comic relief, with scattered moments of witty one-liners. Sadly, the well-utilized cast is let down by the mediocre progression of the plot and lack of emotional tension, bringing down what could have been an impressive film. The ending is a nice twist but was an obvious plot point that audiences could see coming, thus never fully creating a satisfying ending. Though the plot itself wasn’t gratifying, it leaves the audience with enough character driven moments to keep us engaged.

Overall, Life of Crime is appealing through effective character performances and sporadic black comedy twists, but lacks energy and is unfortunately easily forgettable.

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