OUT OF SIGHT (1998) 

[Get the Poster]

George Clooney
Jennifer Lopez
Ving Rhames
Steve Zahn
Albert Brooks
Don Cheadle
Dennis Farina
Catherine Keener
Viola Davis
Luis Guzman
Isaiah Washington
Keith Loneker

Steven Soderbergh




Time: 121 mins.
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Crime/Heist/Comedy/Romance

Academy Award nominations for Best Film Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay.

I can't say that I'm a big fan of Elmore Leonard (I've only read one of his books), but I do love the way he creates his characters. First in GET SHORTY, and now in OUT OF SIGHT, he dishes up memorable characters out of the most normal of people. These are just everyday folks, in strange professions, who just can't seem to catch a break...and you love them for it. George Clooney proves his talent in this tale of Jack Foley, a decent-hearted, gun-shy, bank robber who would be a great catch except for his prison record and proclivity towards crime. He robs banks for the money, but mainly because he's just not a 9-5 kind of guy. Depressed about wasting his life away in prison, he joins a jail break that's almost successful. If it weren't for the untimely intervention of federal agent Karen Cisco, played by Jennifer Lopez, he would have escaped scot free.

In the wrong place at the right time, Karen finds herself in the trunk of her own car with Foley (not a bad place to be in my opinion) and dragged into the heart of the escape...and into the escapee's heart. Clooney and Lopez do a slow burn, that is intoxicating to watch. They are two people from different sides of the law, who immediately like one another, even though they know fate will never allow them to be together. She has to try to catch him and he has to run, though he never runs far and actually doesn't really make himself hard to find. She tracks him to the scene of his final big score just wanting to finish the conversation they started. They get the chance and explore a lot more than just new avenues of dialogue. Their love scene is playful, sexy and sad. This is just a "time out." Once they get back in the real world, they will again be on opposite sides where they must be true to their natures.

OUT OF SIGHT will not be remembered in a listing of greatest films of all time, but it sure is one of the most enjoyable ones I've seen all year. Not everyone is smart, but they all have something to say. The dialogue in this film is clean, crisp, funny and honest. There are no cute, perfect lines written just for the trailer. The supporting cast is also stupendous. Rhames, Cheadle, Brooks and Zahn, give hilarious, scary and touching performances you won't soon forget. Clooney actually gets under the skin of Foley, doing a quiet and subtle job which is a vast improvement over his cutesy charmers of the past. Lopez is confident and tough, which is hard for a pretty woman to pull off without seeming like a total bitch. There is also an unexpected cameo from Michael Keaton (reprising the same role he played in JACKIE BROWN) playing a scene with Dennis Farina that is just hysterical.

The only real action in the film is the final gun battle – which is very graphic at points – so don't be expecting elaborate special effects or car chases. OUT OF SIGHT is much too intelligent to need that kind of filler. This is a character piece through and through. Despite the crimes he's committed, you really want Foley to get away and win the girl. In a way he does, but not the way you'd expect. I really liked the various filmmaking techniques Soderbergh used throughout the movie. The film moves back and forth through time instead of telling the story in a linear fashion. It gives the feeling that you're inside Foley's head, experiencing different pivotal points in his life as he contemplates how he got where he is. The film also employs a stop motion technique – the films stops on a single frame for a second like a picture and then continues or cuts to a new scene – that gave the action a very raw, intense, live-this-moment-while-you-can feeling. If you're looking for a film with heart and intelligence, as well as totally hot lead actors, OUT OF SIGHT is one to watch. Like GET SHORTY, it gets under your skin and just won't let go.

"You'd be surprised about what you can get, if you ask for it the right way."

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