Starring: Christopher Walken, William H. Macy, Morgan Freeman, Marcia Gay Harden
Directed by: Peter Hewitt
Rated: PG-13 for nudity, and language
Movie Released: 2009
Everyone loves a good heist movie. There is nothing that gets your blood pumping a bit faster than a good old fashioned out smart, the good guys flick. It brings out the little bit of evil that lives in each of us. There is that part of us that lives deep inside that wants to live dangerously, and do something even though we fully know that it is wrong. Maybe that is why we reach for films that help us feed that need. After all, a good heist film can be cathartic in many ways, as long as you don’t give into the temptation to go plan your very own heist after the film’s conclusion.
I picked up a copy of a little known heist flick called The Maiden Heist by director Peter Hewitt not because of the director’s fine arsenal of work which include Zoom, Garfield, and Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, but instead because of the Oscar winning cast that he got to star in it. Any time that the likes of Christopher Walken, Morgan Freeman and William H. Macy are paired together in a film at the very least my interests are peaked. Armed with only knowledge of the cast and the title which led me to believe the film had something to do with a heist, I popped the DVD into the player having very little to go on.
What I found myself enjoying was a rather unknown indie flick about 3 museum guards, whom have each fallen in love with various pieces of art in the museum collection. However, when the museum curator announces that the collection is moving to Denmark, these novice criminals decide to try and pull off the ultimate museum heist and save their beloved works of art for their own private collections. Their plan seems fool proof, but when their fool proof plan was planned by a group of novice fools, they soon find themselves in for one bumpy ride of a heist.
What I enjoyed most about The Maiden Heist is the fact that it took itself light hearted enough and still had the flair and charm of a good heist flick. It plays out much like a Ocean’s 11 type film, but instead is planned by people who have NO clue what they are doing. It’s obvious from the get go that these guys are planning the heist based on what they have seen in the movies- not based on any experience. It’s because of the way the film pokes fun at itself that it works so well.
Perhaps the best part of the film is the cast that was chosen. When you put star power like Christopher Walken and Morgan Freeman side by side, it’s hard to disappoint. And if you have them plan and execute a heist, you really can’t go wrong. And just when you think that you can’t possibly top the two veteran actors working together, you have William H. Macy gracing the screen, playing George, a dim witted security guard who thinks he knows more than he truly does. George really becomes the true secret to the film, as he becomes the true comic relief. Macy does a wonderful job towing the fine line between having George be one of the criminal masterminds behind the caper, and a complete loon.
For its 90 minute runtime I had a great time watching The Maiden Heist and am actually suggesting to others as well. I’m glad it was one of those titles I picked up blind and tossed in the DVD player. Sometimes the little films that slip through the cracks are some of the most fun. This is definitely one of those cases. If you get a chance to check out this hidden gem, why not give The Maiden Heist a chance. I think you just might be glad you did.