ART HEIST – Review

This movie stars Ellen Pompeo and Steven Baldwin.

Theft of El Greco in Madrid. Ellen, a high-powered art dealer, might lose her most lucrative client. She advised him to loan the painting to the Madrid museum which was robbed.

At home in America she loves her daughter and husband (Baldwin-cop) recently separated. They live in New Jersey.

To protect her relations with her client, Ellen goes to Madrid to help the investigation. Who are the suspects? Pompeo is not convincing in the role. Her New Jersey house looks like a set from a Doris Day movie in 1958, not the digs of a dealer/one time aspiring painter. She says nothing smart about painting or the market for stolen art. Her role in the movie is pathetically clear.

She’s driving in the first chase scene, after the same art culprits steal a painting from an art auction. She rips along the streets of Madrid, across plazas and around circles. She crashes into a coffee shop, but is too injured to order. Baldwin and daughter fly the Atlantic to comfort her.

If I had seen this movie before the tragedy in Paris, I would have been incredulous about the lack of local police activity to violent crimes within the city: Boots on the ground, investigators looking into high value thefts, electronic resources. In California when someone boasts a car or just doesn’t want to stop for a traffic ticket, there are at least five cop cars trailing him along with the police and media helicopters. Within the last decade when Eastern Europeans robbed a bank in the San Fernando Valley, cops stopped them. The bad guys were wearing full body armor; at least 100 cops including SWAT were on scene within ten minutes. End of bank robbers.

In Paris this year twelve people were murdered; 11 were wounded; police officers were killed or wounded. The bad guys drove 12-15 miles and were located on the second day and killed. Meanwhile, that festering situation allowed the attack on the grocery store. A question arises, and the answer is not, C’est la vie. If the murdering bad guys had been stopped immediately, would have the attack on the grocery store have ensued?

in Art Heist people are murdered during the art theft. Paintings worth $100 million are stolen. There are no cops anywhere. Ellen has to chase the bad guys herself. A week later (a few minutes of film time) Ellen is threatened (knife to throat). Baldwin intercepts and chases the two bad guys. Three minutes of motorcycles through Barcelona, making old people jump, young people watch and children cry. Baldin catches up with them, fights, loses (two against one). There’s not a cop closer than 20 miles.

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? TAKE WHAT YOU WANT. EUROPE IS UP FOR GRABS!

Art Heist becomes preposterous: Baldwin tells Ellen the situation is dangerous. He knows of the people accused of the thefts. He advises return to New Jersey. She gives him every illogical, unrealistic, unreasonable, unfathomable explanation why she will stay, be insensate and endanger herself. About this time in the movie, Baldwin, doing real police work (his character is the only credible one in the flick), meets a promising babe-informant (seen her but don’t know her name). She has a day job in a sporting goods store. It’s time for abandon Ellen to the wilds of Spain, take his daughter and the sporting good woman home to mother in New Jersey.

NOPE, and I can neither write more nor recommend the final 20 minutes of this movie, any more than I can the beginning.

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