Confidence has all the trappings of a modernized
neo noir film: a superstitious male lead, a dame to complicate
his life, the standard voice-over narration, a deal, a heist,
tons of guns, and of course, well-tailored suits.
Jake Vig (Burns) is the leader of a group of long
time grifters. The team currently resides in L.A. and the
guys are living large until one of their cons ends badly.
Turns out, they just accidentally screwed over The King (Hoffman),
a not-to-be-messed-with local businessman/crime boss. To spare
all of their lives, Jake cops a deal with The King so that
everyone can recoup their losses.
One of The King’s men gets added to Jake’s team, and the
recipe for criminal intent is almost complete. Then enter
the dame. Stunningly beautiful pickpocket Lily (Weisz),
who steals Jake’s heart and wallet, is put into the mix to
add a little glamour to the machismo.
The deal Jake and his team have with The King is to scam
a cool five mil out of the big honcho banker Morgan Price.
The stakes and obstacles are high, but Jake manages to stay
ahead of the game. He’s cool, casual, and confident. That
is, until he loses all three c’s, and the cards in the deck
Who’s on second? What’s on third? Everyone’s suddenly all
over the place in this movie.
Burns and Weisz are great on screen together. Hoffman plays
the eccentric crime boss to the T. The rest of the cast is
rock steady, including Andy Garcia, who plays a fed
on Jake’s trail, and Donal Logue, who plays a L.A.
police officer looking to make a few extra bucks to pay for
his kids’ braces. Director James Foley (Glengarry
Glen Ross) plays the edge card in this film , to good
effect. Shaky camera angles and gritty light work well in
Confidence excels where modern attempts at neo noir
have failed. The love connection isn’t forced, the lead goes
lightly on the cheesy jokes, and the direction is varied enough
to prevent the usual predictability. The action could have
been more fast-paced though. And although the jokes weren’t
cheesy, a lot of them did fall flat on the audience, which
could be blamed on the editing or the script. Either way,
it’s neither the best crime movie out there nor the worst.
Confidence gives you the same feeling you get
after going out on a date with an uber-nice person you’re
not attracted to—oh that was fun, you’d say, but forgettable
and lacking real intrigue.
So if you want noir, sans an egregious amount of bloody murders
and cheesy jokes, choose Confidence. And, to compliment
the movie, take along a mediocre date as well.
—Sandra M. Ogle.