Review by Steve Rhodes
2 stars out of 4
Given THE SCORE's killer cast (Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando
and Angela Bassett), you will probably be expecting a lot. Start to lower
your expectations, because THE SCORE plays like a slow motion version of
ENTRAPMENT with De Niro attempting a geriatric rendition of Catherine
Zeta-Jones. Still, De Niro gives it his all, which is a lot more than can
be said about Brando, who phones in his small part. Even the usually
outstanding Norton delivers one of his less memorable performances.
Bassett, playing a disapproving girlfriend, has a part that would be better
cut out entirely. In a script full of fat, hers would be the first
character that should go.
Following the standard caper formula, a seasoned pro, Nick Wells (De Niro),
is hired by his old partner, Max Baron (Brando), to pull one last job. Max
forces Nick to take on relative newcomer Jackie Teller (Norton) as the
inside man. Nick and Jackie are to steal a French national treasure, a
scepter, from the basement of the Customs Building in Montreal.
Working from a script created by no less than 4 writers (Daniel E. Taylor,
Kario Salem, Lem Dobbs and Scott Marshall Smith), director Frank Oz
(BOWFINGER) tries to move from comedies to thrillers. For some reason, he
forgot that thrillers, especially thinly plotted ones like this one, need
energy like comedies need laughs. And the writers forgot that thrillers
need twists, lots of twists to keep the suspense up. Instead they gave the
movie only two, and the studio gave one of these away in the trailers.
Organized into the three canonical sections, planning, heist and getaway,
the movie spends almost all of the time grinding away at the preparation.
Expect to spend most of your time slumped back in your seat rather than on
the edge of it. Only the brief last act has any punch. One suspects, and
hopes, that this movie will be buried at the summer box office by better
movies and that the cast will go on to be seen doing much better work in
THE SCORE runs a long 2:03. It is rated R for language and would be
acceptable for kids around 12 and up.
My son Jeffrey, age 12, gave it ***. He said that he liked the characters,
the techniques of the robbery and plot's twists.
Copyright © 2001 Steve Rhodes