As always, beware of SPOILERS
Ordinary Decent Criminal
first, i wish i knew why this clever, funny and sexy movie is only now becoming available. i just got two days ago and i’ve watched it about 5 times. good god, kevin is soooo attractive and he’s beyond that in this movie. in all honesty i was a little surprised that even though i watch many irish and english movies, i had a little trouble understanding some of the other actors. nevertheless it was a hoot and a half. i hope all you spacey fans out there buy it or borrow it on dvd.
Ordinary Decent Criminal
As many of you Spacey fans haven’t yet seen ‘Ordinary Decent Criminal’ yet, I present to you my little review after watching it on DVD.
ODC is a little film that’s both heart-warming and delightfully witty. As you know the story is about a very cunning Irish ‘Robin Hood’ type thief – Michael Lynch (aka Kevin Spacey). Lynch loves his family, gang, working-class roots, but most of all decieving the coppers.
The main plot: Lynch and his gang plan their biggest heist at an art gallery. Things kick off great at first but as you know there’s always a twist to the tale… the police discover how to play Lynch’s mind games, the gang falls apart from internal conflicts and betrayal…leading to an explosive third and final act.
Kevin Spacey plays the role of the anti-hero Lynch to comic perfection. It’s obvious that he had a nice time playing against type and being the ‘Man’. Yet, again he delivers a sweet performance that’s just so damn cool. And yes, if you are wondering if Kevin gets his kitt off, the answer is ‘yeah, baby!’ He does pull his pants off to reveal a nicely shaped ass (I swear you can almost see his thing too, but lets no go there… this is meant to be a movie review)and his hairy chest. Kevin however, does spent a majority of the time in a mask, which is part of the character’s way of disguising his face from the public, press and police. But he’s still got sex appeal, especially when he’s riding his motorbike.
Although, this movie was panned by the UK critics (a mad bunch with no brains), this film’s a joy to watch. Yeah, it can be a bit silly at times but I loved every minute of it. I really hope everyone gets a chance to see this as I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did.
“A Catch It If You Can…” 4 out of 5.
Ordinary Decent Criminal review
by Anne Mott
This is a FUN movie, and something different from Kevin Spacey. Instead of being serious, he gets to laugh a lot. I didn’t care for his Irish brogue, but the story is so much fun, it was easy to overlook the few flaws. Mike Lynch is among my favorite roles Mr. Spacey has taken on. I especially liked the interplay between Lynch and the two ladies in his life, and his kids. This is a film I recommend for Kevin’s female fans, and for their husbands and man friends as well. There’s something for everyone. Action and comedy blended into a wonderful film that didn’t get nearly the plaudits it deserves. I only hope it is released in the US sometime soon. It deserves to be seen. **** out of 5 .
Ordinary Decent Criminal
by Cynthia (Manchester, England)
This was well acted and gripping especially towards the end. There is a nice sense of Irish everyday life with the grey buildings and damp atmosphere, though I felt Kevin didn’t quite hold onto his Irish accent all the time! The plot is enjoyably convoluted and there are some delicious moments such as when Michael says his fame will have no effect on his life while carefully putting on a pair of sun-glasses!
I watched the film twice and the first time I was conscious of something missing though I couldn’t be sure what it was. It seemed that in spite of the detailed location filming in Ireland , the tough dialogue and scenes of everyday life, realism was somehow missing and we didn’t seem to have enough detail about Michael’s history to anchor him in this streetwise world of violence and exploitation. The film seemed to be realistic but when you zoomed in it wasn’t. When I saw it the second time I thought I was expecting the wrong things by looking for a grim documentary drama approach and in fact we are seeing the world through Michael’s eyes and Michael is a humorous romantic who, in a sense, lets his imagination run away with him. In a way he is a legendary figure, the heir of Robin Hood and Dick Turpin, who carries out daring robberies targeting the pillars of the Establishment, banks and art galleries. He has an enthusiastic and open sexual relationship with two women at once (and I’d like to record here and now that I am profoundly jealous of Helen Baxendale!) which again goes against convention and his clever mind will always outwit the bumbling authorities as is usual with this type of character. But in spite of the careful practical planning of the robberies, he is living partly in a surreal dream world. In a tale told to his children (the legend of the hero figure being handed down to the next generation?) he explains in a flash-back why he has adopted this life-style. In the 1970’s he and others were turned out of their tenement homes by bailiffs. These bailiffs appear as an almost surreal black-coated army. Michael was horrified and barricaded himself high up in his flat. We see the long haired Michael (oh dear, Kevin, the wig didn’t really work here, did it?) like some ancient Irish hero, high above the road where the mayor in his robes and gold chain offers him the keys of the city if he will come down. At this point we start to think Michael is inventing things, though later another character mentions that he won’t be offered the keys of the city again, so perhaps it is true. But it is certainly the stuff of fairy tales. It seems that these bailiffs, symbols of oppressive authority, turn into the police and other authority figures in Michael’s eyes. As he moves from robbing banks to planning a complex art theft it ceases to be about money or even power and becomes an individual realising his powers of creativity and invention pitted against the controlling and suppressing powers of authority. An enterprise quite worthy of the great Caravaggio himself! Like Michael we cannot get a complete hold on reality in the film. An interesting example is the fact that we are never clear why he and the others were turned out of the tenement. He says he was earning good money at the time so it does not seem to be that they could not pay the rent. We could conclude that the episode of turning everyone out of the tenements is symbolic of the way subject communities like the poor, and the Catholics in Ireland ( Michael’s family is Catholic apparently) are exploited and moved about by the authorities at will even if they are innocent. It is even possible that what happened to the tenement families was much worse than what is shown and Michael has sanitized it in order to tell it to his children. Certainly in Northern Ireland appalling things were done over the centuries though the reference could be much broader and refer to subject communities anywhere. An important point is that subject communities cling together for protection as Michael clings to his family and his gang. The only way out of mind-numbing servitude was to exploit your individual intelligence which Michael is well equipped to do. The tragedy is that in the end this is not a fairy tale. Michael’s children are being taught by him not to trust people outside the family and to hate authority figures so they will continue the cycle of hate. The appalling violence shown by both Michael’s gang and by the police at the end appears in the film as a dark background to the whimsical and humorous world of Michael’s plots.
The fact that Michael is the equivalent of a legendary hero is emphasised at the end of the film. He appears to have been killed but we soon realise that, like some shape-shifting sprite, he has escaped. When we last see him he has exchanged his powerful motor bike for a less aggressive scooter which suggests that he has been tamed but he still steals chocolate from a shop and the shopkeeper still falls under his spell. As he whizzes off down the green lanes on his scooter we imagine he is not going to give up but perhaps create another persona to continue his battle with authority, changing his shape like a cunning elf. Well done Kevin – very enjoyable and as usual – quirky!
Cynthia. Manchester , England .