COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 53min
STARRING: Adrian Brody, Rachel Weisz, Mark Ruffalo, Rinko Kikuchi
Making their mark: from left, Ruffalo, Brody and Kikuchi
At 35, con artist Bloom (Brody) wants “an unwritten life” that isn’t orchestrated for him by his conniving elder brother, Stephen (Ruffalo). But Stephen has one more scam up his sleeve, with beautiful, lonely New Jersey heiress Penelope (Weisz) as its mark. Penelope is quite some lure — she is an obsessive hobbyist with eclectic skills and a sharp, inquisitive mind. The brothers and their slinky explosives-mad assistant, Bang Bang (Kikuchi), stage a dramatic meeting and pose as antique dealers. Before you can say kooky movie with a fairy-tale period feel and a tone that dips between fanciful and wacky, they and Penelope are off to Athens — and Prague, Mexico and St Petersburg).
The aim is to fleece the heiress while wowing her with the time of her life — which she has with multiple twists. It’s no fun to be fleeced in real life, of course. But bubbly caper movies bear scant relationship to harsh reality and this slippery escapade from writer-director Rian Johnson is a champagne experience with a kick that can’t help but sneak up on you.