"Playing the big con is like putting on a play where everyone knows their parts
except for the mark," Jake Vig (Edward Burns) explains to us in voice-over.
CONFIDENCE's energetic style, with its raunchy, mile-a-minute dialog, may remind
you of GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, one of director James Foley's previous pictures.
With quadruple and quintuple twists upon twists, it is never clear who are the
scammers and who are the scammees in CONFIDENCE. First-time screenwriter Doug
Jung's overcooked plot may sometimes burn you out, but the absolutely superb
cast, with more players than a baseball game, makes the movie. The film is so
much fun that you won't mind how dizzy all of the twists make you.
When we first meet Jake, a hit man (Morris Chestnut) is about to execute him.
The movie is told in flashback as Jake relates his disastrous, previous three
Jake's problems started when his team of grifters (Paul Giamatti, Brian Van Holt
and Louis Lombardi), aided by their paid-off, undercover cops (Donal Logue and
Luis Guzm n), accidentally pulled a con on one of King's men. Smacking gum so
loudly and obnoxiously that you'll want to yell at him to cut it out, Dustin
Hoffman chews up the scenery as well as the gum playing the infamous King, a guy
whom you cross at your own peril.
In order to square his transgression, Jake agrees to play a dangerous con on
King's rival, Morgan Price (Robert Forster). To complete his team, Jake
recruits and trains a beautiful and sexy pickpocket named Lily (Rachel Weisz).
Along the way, the team runs into a brick wall in the form of a federal agent,
played with devilish charm by Andy Garcia.
Following the story is like chasing Pac Man through his maze, but you'll never
feel cheated, save once. In the potentially big love scene between Burns and
Weisz, the director yells "Cut!" before it barely gets started.
CONFIDENCE runs 1:38. It is rated R for "language, violence and
sexuality/nudity" and would be acceptable for most teenagers.
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes