'Henry's Crime' doesn't make sense
"Henry's Crime," staring James Caan, Keanu Reeves and Vera Farmiga, is a promising thriller but falls apart, partly because it doesn't make much sense but also because Reeves is badly miscast.
Seattle Times movie critic
'Henry's Crime,' with Keanu Reeves, Vera Farmiga, James Caan, Judy Greer, Peter Stormare. Directed by Malcolm Venville, from a screenplay by Sacha Gervasi and David White. 108 minutes. Rated R for language. Metro.
"Are you kidding?" asks con man Max (James Caan), eyes widening. "This is your plan? An old cartoon in a pissoir?"
Um, yep, that's the plan. Henry (Keanu Reeves), formerly Max's cellmate in prison while serving time for a bank robbery he didn't actually commit, has decided to go ahead and rob the bank in question, based on a floor plan of the building that he's found in a men's room of an adjoining restaurant. He's done the time, Henry reasons — why not do the crime? But he needs Max's help to devise a scheme to drill through the dressing-room wall of an adjacent theater, which according to the drawing is right next to the bank's vault — and which means getting Henry into the cast of "The Cherry Orchard."
Max is right: The plan doesn't make much sense, and neither does "Henry's Crime," an intermittently entertaining comedy/drama with a funny script and a fatal miscasting. Vera Farmiga is charming as Julie, a very self-aware actress with whom Henry gets involved (after sex, she asks dramatically, "Does this make me an accessory?"); Caan is a crusty delight as Max, a cavalier old-school fellow who prefers the more elegant title of "confidence man." But, in Reeves' usual fashion, Henry has a sleepy vagueness; you never believe that this guy could pull off a heist, let alone attract a woman as showy as Julie. "Go rob your bank," she says airily, and you wish she and Max would run off together — these characters deserve a movie of their own.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org