Monday, February 4, 2008

The Score

"The Score" (Frank Oz, 2001) It's notable for being the last movie Marlon Brando was in, and his presence is probably why DeNiro and Norton and Bassett signed on, because, really, this is no great shakes as a film. It's a simple "heist movie," with some interesting switch-backs along the way, which works as an effective metaphor for a bunch of people generating a paycheck for themselves. But if you expect to see sparks fly between DeNiro and Brando (The Two Don Vito Corleones) the way they did between Pacino and DeNiro in "Heat," you're going to very disappointed. Bassett is completely wasted in the movie as "The Girlfriend," and Norton pulls off one of his "so-good-it's-scary" impersonations, this time as a retarded kid, which borders on the cruel. No, the only sparks are the ones that happened between Brando and director Oz. Brando didn't like the way he was being directed, so he decided he'd play games calling Oz "Miss Piggy" (of course, Oz played her in "The Muppets") It's just another indication of how far Brando was slipping--a perpetual jokester and lover of comedy, he couldn't even be charitable acknowledging Oz's gifts as a performer. "The Score" is not a great indicator of anyone's work (except the cinematographer's), but it's a shame that Brando went out on this one.

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