Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

When I was a kid and my mom would drive me to school, she always had her station set to National Public Radio. I hoped and prayed that I would never get so old, like my mom, that I wouldn’t want to listen to music anymore. Well I’m old and when I drive to work my dial is set National Public Radio which is how I first became aware of this movie ‘The Maiden Heist’. It’s was a good listen and makes for a good read into the economic complexities of the movie business, or how a movie with three and half Academy Award winning iconic actors can make a film that goes broke before anybody has a chance to see it and invariably gets shuttled Straight to DVD. They should’ve taken my advice and put some giant jive talking robots in this flick and all would’ve been saved.

Roger (Christopher Walken) and Charles (Morgan Freeman) are security guards at the local art gallery, a job which obviously gives one a lot of spare time to do absolutely nothing but stare at artwork. As such, over the years, both men have fallen in love with a particular work and when they get word that a large collection of the museum’s pieces are being shipped off to Denmark they are understandably distraught.

Charles comes up with the idea that maybe, possibly, they should just steal their beloved works of art but Roger, being the sensible type, realizes that they really don’t have the skills to pull off such a task. Enter in hard nosed militaristic night guard George (William H. Macy) who our security gentlemen caught on surveillance getting buck ass naked and posing in front of his favorite bronze statue. One would think that being a security professional for this institution that George would be well aware that there are security cameras placed all around this joint but we’re gonna just let that slide. George, as it so happens, has just the skills needed to pull off this heist as now we are about to witness some old dudes behaving real bad as the madcap hijinx kick into high gear. All George needs to do is find a way to keep his saucy wife (Marcia Gay Harden) out of his business.

What can we say about this movie ‘The Maiden Heist’? Directed by one Peter Hewitt and with the cast that he was blessed with, it would be close to impossible for this movie to fall in the category of ‘bad’ though we have seen a film or two with these cast members in movies that we would define as categorically bad. Say Bill Macy in ‘The Deal’ or Morgan Freeman in ‘Edison Force’… oh, Edison Force… or Christopher Walken making an appearance in ‘Gigli’ or Marcia Gay Harden in ‘The Invisible’ but collectively it would be difficult for these cats and kitties to do bad and they don’t bad in ‘The Maiden Heist’ but it’s not all that great either, even though it did have its moments.

Mr. Hewitt’s film seemed directionless at points as the movie kind of floundered along a lot of the time with this talented cast doing whatever they so well pleased. Now I know that if at one time I’m directing a CGI cat in ‘Garfield’ and the next moment I’m trying to tell Christopher Walken what to do, knowing full well he’s forgotten more about movies than I’ll ever know, I’d be a little intimidated but I still have to direct his old ass and there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of that going on.

But things pick up considerably and become way more focused when we get to the actual heist and the heist sequence itself was done so well and was so much fun to watch that this alone pretty much rescues the movie. Near the end of the heist the situation probably got a little too madcappy and hijinky, but not nutty enough to detract from what was easily the best part of the movie and since it does have ‘heist’ in the title it’s a good thing that this is the best part of the movie. It’s too bad that the entire film didn’t have the wit, energy and revelry of that sequence because then ‘The Maiden Heist’ would’ve been a really good movie instead of a simply okay movie.

Still, despite the bankruptcy and stuff, I still think this movie could’ve recouped its money in theaters if some studio took a chance with some marketing dollars, but I guess things are tough all over. Works for me as you can best bet ‘The Maiden Heist’ will be on a future episode of ‘Totally Twisted Flix’. That’s my Straight to DVD TV show for those don’t know. We call that a ‘shameless plug’ where I come from.

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