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RATED Not Rated
STUDIO IFC Independent Film
RUNNING TIME 87 Minutes
• Interviews with the cast and crew of Flypaper
A witty cross between a classic BBC mystery show and heist film.
Director Rob Minkoff Actors Patrick Dempsey, Ashley Judd, Tim Blake Nelson, Mekhi Phifer, Jeffrey Tambor
Two gangs of robbers descend on the same bank, but hearts are what may be stolen instead in Flypaper, a madcap crime comedy from the screenwriters of the blockbuster The Hangover. Patrick Dempsey stars as a nervous customer with a crush on beautiful teller Ashley Judd. They and the other staff and customers become hostages when two very different groups of crooks hit the bank simultaneously: a high-tech trio who plan to break into the vault and a pair of small-timers whose idea of a big score is knocking off the ATMs. When people begin mysteriously dying one by one, everyone involved begins to wonder if there’s someone else in the bank up to no good.
Heist movies make me happy. Seriously, all it takes is a bank, 20 or so people in that bank and a few intelligent robbers and I’m happy. If you can add a brilliantly choreographed violent shoot out like the heist in Heat you will instantly become a classic. If you don’t, please occupy my time with witty scenarios and thoroughly entertaining script. Flypaper is more like The Ladykillers had a love child with Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians.
Making the most of its single location set, our actors spend close to the entirety of the film in one location. The plot involves two sets of bank robbers showing up at a bank immediately before the doors close with the chaotically different swindlers all intent on robbing the bank. The two groups couldn’t be more different and a lot of the dynamic of the film comes at the contrasting opinions and methods between the redneck ATM plunderers and the high tech sociopathic safe crackers.
As a producer, Patrick Dempsey used his celebrity ties to assemble a respectable cast for a low budget film. The supporting roles are filled by well known character actors that you will either know or recognize. The who’s who gallery includes some cult favorites in Jeffrey Tambor and Pruitt Taylor Vince, as well as Tim Blake Nelson, one of the leads fromO Brother, Where Art Thou .
Dempsey’s Tripp comes off as a charismatic Rain Man. He has a photographic memory, lacks social skills, has stupid courage but also the ability to understand people’s human nature and a playboy suave. He plays the perfect middle man that can communicate with the hostages and both sets of thieves. I’m never able to separate Dempsey from his earlier comedic roles in Loverboy or Can’t Buy Me Love. His semi neurotic character always seems to be one step ahead of everyone else, even though his character didn’t always seem capable to think clearly through simple things.
Ashley Judd attempts to be a sexy librarian, but her part had her phoning in an apathetic bank teller/hostage that holds and maintains Dempsey’s attention. She appeared upstaged anytime another actor was on the screen but the blame may fall under the script. A lot of the other supporting roles all seemed to have much greater depth than her romantic lead. I believe this is one of the weakest performances I have ever seen by her, but even so, it is heads above the cheap National Lampoon brainless babes that don’t know how to emote anything other than a shocked look. Even though not her best performance, it is good enough to maintain interest.
The main part of Flypaper is the story. It will either work to amuse you or completely put you to sleep. I had fun with it, but it I can see a lot of people wanting their time back. The soul of the film is very similar to aged mystery shows normally seen on BBC. The plot really begins when a gentleman in the lobby is assassinated. The following 2 acts portray the hostages attempting to figure who is going around murdering people, while the thieves often question their purpose or commitment to the job at hand.
Red herrings are thrown about, and Tripp constantly tells everyone what he finds so that we get closer to the true enemy as the remaining time dwindles. I will admit that I didn’t have the murderer figured out, but I did have the resolution figured out.
The tone of the film is light, and the dry humor often contained violent bodily harm or graphic deaths, which shouldn’t bother most of this sites viewers. The exceptions to that rule are the hillbillies known as Peanut Butter and Jelly played by Nelson and Vince. They ham up their best Larry the Cable Guy impressions (not too far from Nelson’s O Brother character) and elevate the movie from par to above average. If they make a Tucker and Dale Vs Evil sequel, then this is easily their audition reel.
Overall, the movie is challenged by all the different tones it attempts to take but even the worst parts are watchable. I give it an extra point just for the heist element and the Nelson/Vince comedy duo.
For a Blu Ray release, it has average sound and video. Nothing stood out as majorly good or bad. The extras were definitely lackluster by including some dry interviews and the trailer.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars