When I come to think about it, I suppose this 'job' was an easy thing to do. Me, Gus the cat-burglar (Denis Leary), was going to break into a stately mansion. Swipe some jewels. And then make my escape with some help from my getaway driver, Murray (Richard Bright).
But no. Things don't really play out in the way I hoped they would, do they? First the alarm system goes off at the exact same moment I've got the jewels in my hands. Then
run's away because the police suddenly show up primed to pounce. Before finally
I take it upon myself to take a couple of saps hostages so I can make my
Yeah. That's right. Lloyd and Caroline (Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis) are the saps names. And Jesus Christ, arguing with each other is defiantly their game. They argue with each other as soon as I barge my way into their car. They argue with each other when they take me back to their home at gun point. Plus they even argue with each other once I tie them both up, whilst I call
Murray on the phone for him to get
me the hell out of there.
the next person who pop's up in my life, is he? It's 'the son'. Jesse (Robert
J. Steinmiller Jr.). A swindler. A confused little army brat. And someone else
who just grates on my nerves as time ticks on a tick at a time.
Still. I suppose that is why what next transpires all goes Swedish when we have visitors for dinner. As a mother is a right witch - I can't wait to have a b*tch - Lloyd and Caroline give as good as they get - and I'll tell you something, I'm not going to be no teachers pet.
When I first sat down and watched 'The Ref', I honestly thought it would be one of those jovial crime capers where a thief take's a middle-aged couple hostage and hilarity ensues. Granted, to some extent it was just that. By in large it was a very funny film -- especially the witty dialogue -- and I really did warm up to the three principle characters quite a lot. Yet, in the same breath, there was something that didn't quite click for me in its execution. Something to do with how it's pacing was rather lop-sided, and how its overall construction was a bit flimflam here and there.
Again. I don't want to sound too harsh about this movie. It is a very good movie. But for the life of me, I'd say it could have been a lot better if its construction and its pacing wasn't so slap-dash, and that it was edited in such a fashion that the main thrust of the story centered around the three main characters, and not setting things up to transpire at the end of it.
However, on a more positive note, there were a couple of scenes scattered throughout this flick I thought compensated for this narrative pitfall. Firstly, I did love watching all of those scenes where 'the trio' spilled some back-story to inform the plot. I found those very engaging to watch. And secondly, I really dug the 'final fight' scene where everyone got the opportunity to 'air their views' about their kin. Honestly. I'd say that this segment was very comical, very stress relieving, very fresh, and well worth the price of admission on its own merit.
Overall 'The Ref' was a pretty so-so film all in all. The actors were great. The segways were tiresome. The comedy was funny. And generally speaking, this is one of those crime capers which is well worth the watch if you're a fan of Denis, Kevin, and Judy.
Say no more.
THE RATING: B