out of 4
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Review by MrBrown
2½ stars out of 4
Dylan (Dan Futterman) and Jez (Stuart Townsend) have made a career out of
"shooting fish"--i.e. pulling off con jobs. Dylan is the cocky
smooth-talking Yank who masterminds each elaborate schemes; the Burt
Bacharach-loving Jez is the socially-impaired British technogeek whose
electronic wizardry makes such swindles possible. A host of complications,
romantic and otherwise, arise after sweet medical student Georgie (Kate
Beckinsale) joins their fold, helping the boys out in the belief that the
illegally-obtained proceeds go toward building an orphanage.
Director/co-writer (with Richard Holmes) Stefan Schwartz has crafted a
light, easy-going fluff piece whose pleasance is elevated by the appeal of
the top trio of actors, particularly the pixie-tressed Beckinsale.
Unfortunately, her main subplot about a loveless engagement is so poorly
developed it seems like an afterthought, even as it eventually takes center
stage toward film's end. But the more curious miscalculation is that, for
a comedy, Shooting Fish is rather light on real laughs. There's a sly dig
at the musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber, but a number of the big con scenes
are more amusing than funny. However, there is a certain amount of charm
about the film, which is as agreeable as it is refreshingly unpretentious.
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