Jake Vig (Burns) is a consummate grifter about to pull his biggest con yet, one set to avenge his friend's murder. But his last scam backfired, leaving him indebted to a mob boss (Hoffman) and his enforcer.
Jake Vig leads a small Los Angeles based team of grifters, each member who has his specific role in each con: Jake is the main man, Miles the adversary, Big Al the scared innocent bystander, and Gordo the dead shooting victim. He also has in his pockets crooked LAPD detectives Lloyd Whitworth and Omar Manzano who basically play themselves as needed. Beyond getting the money, the basic goal of each con is to ensure the mark is so scared by what has happened - usually being an accomplice in a "murder" - that he won't come back looking for the money. Jake learns the hard way that their latest mark, Louis Dolby, who they fleeced for $150,000, was carrying money for a criminal named King, who takes a no prisoners approach in getting even, he who knows who stole his money. Instead of returning the $150,000 to King, money which he no longer has anyway, Jake convinces King to parlay that money and a bit more into a bigger con against a mark of King's choice, that person being banker Morgan ...Written by
Doug Jung wrote the script to take place in New York, and the studio wanted to shoot in Canada as a stand-in. Director James Foley did go on location scouts to Toronto (having used it to stand in for New York before, on The Corruptor (1999)), but, intensely disliking and feeling constrained by the "runaway" filmmaking process, was inspired by a drive around Los Angeles during magic hour to rewrite the film to take place there instead. See more »
Jake takes his tie off just before his fight with Lupus. Subsequently, the tie is alternately on/off between shots. See more »
So I'm dead. And I think it's because of this redhead.
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Twists and turns, that's what makes a story, whether it's a book or a film. Since Hitchcock's superb thrillers, I like to think that I've seen most if not all movies of the genre, yet this one really surprised me that much I had to see it again right away. The plot is very original, but the sometimes staccato dialogs and use of high speed American slang language is sometimes difficult to understand for a non-American.
Nevertheless I enjoyed watching Jake Vig(Edward Burns)very much, his coolness reminds me of James Stewart and the catch of the film reminded me a little bit of Swordfish-Travolta's latest and one of his best movies ever. Dustin Hoffman's character is very convincing as an independent gangster whose money-collector gets involved in a scam and looses $150.000,- to a group of four slick hustlers.
It's this team, which members are so diverse yet fit together so perfectly that it makes me want to see another film starring the same con men, director Mr. James Foley, please give us a sequel............
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