‘Money comes. Money goes. What’s important is to have someone to walk with...’
Unless it’s an Ocean’s movie, or a Coen Brothers feature, the words ‘crime caper’ would ordinarily chill me to my very bones. It’s a genre that leaves me completely cold, partially because of their proximity to the Bond franchise, I suppose. Welcome to Collinwood intrigued me however. The Russo brothers are now household names due to their monstrous success of their Avengers movies, but they were relative unknowns when their sharp script persuaded George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh to get on board as producers for the Russo’s little crime flick Welcome to Collinwood. It was their involvement, plus an interesting and eclectic cast, that got me on board, and I mostly enjoyed the ride…
Cosimo (Luiz Guzman) knows of a serious job. A jewellers. A safe. Cold hard cash. The only problem is that he is in jail. Through a sequence of Chinese whispers, various parties eventually become aware of this job, much to the chargrain of Cosimo. Attempting to pull the damn thing off are the wisecracking, failed boxer Pero (Sam Rockwell), the desperate Riley (William H. Macy) and the fast talking Leon (Isaiah Washington). The issue is that these gentlemen are like the complete opposite of Ocean’s famous eleven. Incompetent, slipshod and plagued by bad luck, even the appearance of Clooney himself as a retired safecracker can’t right the good ship jewellery heist on this occasion.
So we have a pair of hugely successful and acclaimed directors working with an incredibly talented and eclectic cast. The result is a movie that is a whole lot of fun, occasionally laugh out loud funny and unpredictable from first to last. Everyone seems to be having a ball, with Rockwell impressive as ever as the exasperated face of too many mistakes. Every character screams bad luck whilst also being unique enough to ensure that each cast member is given their due. This is an ensemble piece and it’s all the better for it.
Welcome to Collinwood didn’t really change my mind about crime capers, but it did make me question how a film this good with this cast never really caused more than a ripple on the cinematic landscape. An thoroughly enjoyable way to spend 90 minutes.