Out of Sight

George Clooney’s last few big screen expeditions range from mediocre (Peacemaker) to outright awful (Batman and Robin). Clooney is a good actor and really does deserve more. Is Out of Sight the movie that will make him a superstar?

Based on the Elmore Leonard book by the same name, the movie follows a bank robber with a heart of gold, Jack Foley (Clooney), and federal marshal Karen Sisco (Jennifer Lopez). Foley is an intelligent, charming, and big-time bank robber who has robbed so many banks that he’s lost count. With all of this, the only thing setting him back is his problem with cars. Sisco is a hard-nosed federal marshal who on a routine trip to the Glades Correctional facility in Florida runs into Foley trying to breakout of the same correctional facility.

The two have instant chemistry - both as characters and as on-screen actors. But, therein lies the problem - how can a federal officer be interested in a guy who she knows clearly broke out of prison? What will she do if she meets him again? Will she put him back in the slammer? Will they run away together?

Out of Sight is the third Leonard based film I’ve seen, along with Touch and Get Shorty. Out of Sight is my favourite of the three. The combination of a densely plotted script, believable characters, great acting, and wonderful music makes Out of Sight a movie that can’t be missed.

This is going to be the sleeper hit of the summer. As a movie that hasn’t been overly advertised and has more story than special effects, Out of Sight will make a big draw with the people that want to see a funny and intelligent film during the summer. This is going to be the movie that makes George Clooney a superstar.

Clooney loses all his neck and head twitches that he uses in ER and adopts a more confident style for Out of Sight. This time his character is not Doctor Ross in a different environment. Clooney’s character is not the typical criminal with a heart of gold, though. Most criminals we see with a heart of gold are bumbling idiots and not intelligent. Foley though is intelligent; watch how he takes care of different situations: The first bank robbery that we see, the prison library incident, and the prison escape all show how this guy thinks.

Lopez is in every way Clooney’s equal. Lopez’s acting is superb. Her character, Sisco, is a tough federal marshal who has a soft side - she takes no crap from anyone, makes her own decisions, and sticks to them. Watch how she reacts to these different situations: dealing with the brother of a convict, dealing with Foley, and dealing with a drug addict.

Among the supporting cast, there is a lot to like. Ving Rhames as Buddy, Jack Foley’s only friend, is wonderful. He plays his character with a sense of vulnerability that you don’t often find in a car-jacker. Dennis Farina as Karen’s father is hilarious. I love what he did when he met with Karen’s boyfriend (a surprise cameo by Michael Keaton). Albert Brooks is good in his role as a white-collar-criminal. The only performance I didn’t like - and this maybe because he’s playing against what I’m used to seeing him as - is Don Cheadle as a vicious gangster criminal.

Given that this is the summer season, I’d expect a lot of movies to be visually arresting. And so far all of the movies that I’ve seen are quite visual. But, not of them have what, surprisingly to me, George Clooney’s new film Out of Sight has: visual style. The style used in Out of Sight is useful, beautiful, and jarring. I loved the visual style of the film. The director, Steven Soderbergh, and cinematographer, Elliot Davis, use different styles of movie making to accomplish a polished film in the end. I loved how they used the freeze frame repeatedly to imprint the reactions of the characters in our minds. I’ve not seen the freeze frame used a lot, and the only director that uses it this often is my favourite, John Woo. Also, watch for how the tone of the film changes between the two main settings. In Florida, the film is warm and full of vibrant color. But, when the film moves to Detroit, it becomes cold and almost colorless.

Out of Sight is a well-written, funny, and engaging film that will make George Clooney a superstar. Don’t Miss Out of Sight.

Edited by Cher Johnson.