October 7 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 22  

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Foolproof: this film proves it's no fool

By Jonathan Laski
Gazette Writer


Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Kristin Booth, Joris Jarsky, David Suchet
Director: William Phillips

Gazette file photo
STAND BACK, SWEETIE — IT TAKES A REAL MAN TO HANDLE THIS SMOKE-BLOWING-THINGY. Ryan Reynolds plays the funnyman-come-action-hero role in Foolproof.

At last, Hollywood has given the all-important 20-something demographic a new action-comedy that can be enjoyed for more than just the mindless explosions and raunchy sex jokes.

Foolproof, starring Ryan Reynolds, snuck into theatres this past Friday amidst little hype, but certainly deserving of more. Reynolds plays Kevin, the leader of three friends who form a secret club in which they study how to theoretically break into businesses and vaults. Of course, they never actually try to pull off any heists until they are coerced into doing so by a serious thief who has already stolen their "foolproof" plan.

Kevin and friends must now navigate pulling off the $20 million job, while also trying to stay alive. The characters work extremely well together in the best heist movie since the 2000 remake of Ocean's Eleven.

Although there are no breakthrough lines, performances or even explosions for that matter, this film moves well with several psychological twists. While preparing for and pulling off the robbery, the group experiences all the loyalty and friendship dilemmas that come with any amateur million-dollar bank robbery between friends.

What is also particularly likeable about this movie is it is both filmed and set in Toronto and Reynolds, Booth and Jarsky, the three lead characters, are all Canadian. To that effect, the business district of Toronto lends itself well to the plot, as the metropolis boasts both the underworld that cut-throat robbers thrives in and the big money.

As for the characters, Reynolds is just as "pretty" as he was in his last role as Van Wilder, but he does impress by fulfilling the difficult role of playing the comedian and action-adventure hero. Though Reynolds is the biggest name, the film's style comes more from the supporting actors. Booth, who plays Sam - the strong, yet sexy girl in the group of friends - is enjoyable to watch and David Suchet is the witty and suave, yet evil, antagonist this film needs. All of the characters prove they have real substance and are dynamic in being both kind and hostile - they are wicked, yet soft enough to entertain without scaring.

As Suchet's character, Leo Gillette, begins to take a liking to Rob (the third in the heist-planning group), the plot thickens as Rob's loyalties begin to sway. Betrayal issues are carried through to the movie's final heist, in which the audience watches loyalties play out and backstabbing twists resolve themselves. Gillette has made his reputation and career on being meticulously careful and carefully evil, but as the movie progresses and we see the skills of the three amateur thieves, we can begin to ask: "Has he met his match?"

While I won't give away the ending, I encourage you to see this creative and substantive movie. The characters are solid and the predictable explosions are bearable. Before you know it, Foolproof will be finished and you'll be left wondering what sort of trouble Kevin and his friends will get into next.



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