LYING AND STEALING (2019) ⭐️⭐️
Dir: Matt Aselton
Set in Los Angeles, Lying and Stealing follows Ivan, a reluctant but skilled art thief (James Theo) trying to work off his father’s gambling debt to the the sleazy track boss, and self-entitled 'art dealer'. Predictably, Ivan wants out, and agrees to one or two last scores to call it even. Somewhere along all this, for some reason, Elyse (Emily Ratajkowski), an aspiring actress comes in to the picture... and doesn't really make a mark - for me - until she's uses feminine wiles to help her new bea pull off a the last job, that will settle both their scores.
L&S doesn’t break any new ground, and we were expecting that, however, we're still expecting something more than a cliche-riddled B-movie. I wanted to like the film, but felt like there were so many areas it was lacking in; my personal opinion is we didn't REALLY need Elyse's character... what did she do? what did she bring to the story? her sub-story majorly lacked. MAJORLY! And Ivan's brother was there because.... the fact that he had mental issues and was a jobless, drug fiend, bought nothing to the story, but it also didn't take anything away. It was just... there.
The stars are indeed BEAUTIFUL, 'sexy' even, suave and sophisticated, but unfortunately do not have enough chemistry or substance to make this work for me. Which is a shame because they James is incredibly good-looking, but we'd hate for that to be the only drawing factor. In fact, I think he did pretty ok in this, it almost looked like he enjoyed playing this character (good for him). I'm not even entirely sure that the chemistry between Elyse and Ivan would have 'saved' the film, whatever is lacking in this film is bigger than that.
The film starts off as a heist-thriller to and somehow became unsure of itself with bad comedy gags in the second half - There are some light funny moments, that either they weren't confident enough to pull it off, or it just didn't land.
It's not an awful film, as there are moments where it picked up, but I can't help but feel there's so much unfulfilled potential here. The foundations are there, with some ideas that should work, but somehow end up feeling a little (a lot) lacklustre.
Director: Matt Aselton Cast: Theo James, Emily Ratajkowski, Fred Melamed, Frank Gallegos Distributor: The Movie Partnership Digital Platforms: iTunes, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Sky Store, Sony, BT Runtime: 100 mins