I haven't seen many Woody Allen movies, but I hear they are all the same; if that is true, than they might have some redeemable value.
Small Time Crooks is mildly entertaining with bits of comedy here and there, but nothing over the top. The whole movie is pretty tame but surprisingly not very lame (sorry about the Dr. Seuss moment), as I was expecting. It is short enough to keep my attention from drifting, and also moves along at a fast enough pace.
I was rather surprised about the story. Hardly any of the story is invested into tunneling under the bank, as the previews suggest. Instead, Woody Allen and his on-screen wife Tracy Ullman make a gigantic profit off of their cookie business, which was supposed to be a front for their dirty scheme. They get thrust into a life of splendor, and while Ullman thrives to become "civilized," Allen just wants to return to his roots.
The acting in the movie is pretty good, although it gets sort of obnoxious at times. Both Woody Allen and Tracy Ullman are two actors that I can only watch in small doses, as their mannerisms and voices get obnoxious. Luckily, as I mentioned earlier, Small Time Crooks is a pretty short movie.
The screenplay has its spikes but it isn't as witty as it thinks it is. There are a lot of scenes that just aren't funny although I think they were supposed to be; on the other hand, there were some scenes that are genuinely comical.
I guess you have to like Woody Allen to like Small Time Crooks, but if you don't mind a rather harmless and tame comedy, it's a nice change of pace from some of the cruder films out today.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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