The Maiden Heist Peter Hewitt

The Maiden Heist Peter Hewitt
When a movie starring Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken and Marcia Gay Harden goes straight-to-DVD, we know there has to be a problem. And while part of this can be attributed to Yari Film Group's financial woes, filing Chapter 11 Protection (that's bankruptcy, in Canadian), the rest has to do more with The Maiden Heist's intrinsic blandness. It's harmless and pleasant, for sure, but extremely dry and uninspired. Going for a goofy tone, things start with Roger Barlow (Walker), a museum security guard on the cusp of retirement, often fantasizing about preventing robberies while fawning over his favourite portrait. Upon learning that this coveted piece is being transferred to Denmark, he concocts a plan with Charles (Freeman), a particularly fey colleague, to swap the work with copies painted by a starving artist (Breckin Meyer). Eventually, the pair involve the frequently nude George (William H. Macy) in their plans, concocting a scheme involving clipboards and box labels, much like the reality of such a scenario might include. Once we move past Walken's meekness, Macy's frequent nudity and Freeman's flamboyant homosexuality (an uncomfortable thing to behold), there is little creativity or zest to sustain a feature-length film. Physical comedy is used to exploit the agedness of the characters, as are plenty of heist-related inconveniences, ensuring that awkward explanations provide a few chuckles for the Waking Ned Devine crowd. Fans of the actors may enjoy this one as a rental, but anyone searching for the sort of thing that will remain cognitively intact after the credits role should look elsewhere. Included with the DVD are brief bloopers and some deleted scenes with commentary, along with a "making of" featurette. This latter supplement points out that this film has been in development for quite some time, and makes light of the age difference between Marcia Gay Harden and Christopher Walken, who play a married couple in the film. Also included is a commentary track with director Pete Hewitt and Writer Michael LeSieur, who trade the usual anecdotes, and complementary insert. (E1)