I’ll admit that for a second my heart skipped a beat when I saw the alert for a trailer to the film Gambit, as I said a quick prayer to my monkey gods for a film that could help me forget Taylor Kitsch’s portrayal of the Cajun X-Man in the lackluster Wolverine. Sadly, this is not that Gambit, but a remake of the 1966 Michael Caine art heist film. Fortunately, in this era of lazy remakes, the Coen Brothers have penned the script, and the presence of Colin Firth and Alan Rickman certainly can’t hurt.
So what’s this caper film all about? Here’s the synopsis of the original:
Cockney cat burglar Harry Dean needs Hong Kong dancer Nicole Chang’s help to pull off the perfect heist. With a simple makeover and a new wardrobe; Nicole’s resemblance to wealthy recluse Mr. Shahbandar’s late wife is uncanny. While Shahbandar is distracted by the mesmerizing Nicole, Harry takes steps to swipe a priceless artifact from under the tycoon’s nose. But even the most foolproof schemes have a way of backfiring…
Ah, the 60s. When Shirley MacLaine could play “Nicole Chang” and nobody even bothered to second guess it. What a time that must have been.
As for the new version, this time it’s Firth playing Harry Dean, as he bumbles and fumbles his way through a plan to rip off his a-hole boss, played by Rickman, with the help of Cameron Diaz as a cartoon character from Texas. I’ll be shocked if Diaz doesn’t grow a long red mustache by the film’s end and run around shouting, “WHAT IN TARNATION!” as she shoots her finger guns in the air.
Hey Coen Brothers, you know who is from Texas? Actual actresses that speak like actual Texans. (Unless she ends up being a schemer who rips them both off and the Texas accent was just an act, in which case I retract my smarm, but still wag my finger for predictability. I loved Fargo.)