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Brooklyn Heist, The (DVD Review)

31 Oct, 2009 By: John Latchem

Prebook 11/3/09; Street 12/1/09
$27.98 DVD
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sexual content and language.
Stars Danny Masterson, Leon, Dominique Swain.

Caper films are always ripe for parody, and the farcical The Brooklyn Heist is up to the challenge.

The story focuses on a crusty pawn shop owner who arranges criminal activity in a New York neighborhood. The criminals she deals with are generally incompetent, but she puts up with them even though they hate her. When she has a heart attack and lands in the hospital, the criminals scheme to steal her fortune.

Three teams, working with no knowledge of the other, eventually conspire to rob her. Each team plans elaborate schemes to break into what is just a small storefront and a portable safe. Each heist is presented as its own storyline with its own style.

One features a pair of old-school thieves (Danny Masterson and Michael Cecchi) and is presented in a scratchy, exploitation-film style. They begin recruiting new members (“we have to have an Asian!”) a la Ocean’s Eleven.

Another presents a couple of fish-out-of-water Russians always shown in black-and-white, who are technically proficient but socially clueless.

The third group is a trio of urban gangstas straight from a hip-hop video, who steal an orphaned white girl from a couple of rubes who owe money and make her their sidekick.

It’s only inevitable in a movie such as this for the groups to encounter each other, leading to a brief moment in which the three styles of film clash in a bevy of split-screen special effects.

Thrown into the mix are a couple of “Charlie’s Angels” wannabe FBI agents  (Dominique Swain and Blanchard Ryan) hoping to make a big arrest to make their careers.

The clever concept yields some good laughs as it ups the absurdity factor, having fun playing with the clichés of the genre.   

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