"Confidence’ shows true grift | SummitDaily.com
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"Confidence’ shows true grift

If it’s appropriate to think of “Confidence” as a poor man’s “Ocean’s Eleven,” it’s probably OK to say poverty made it tougher, meaner – and stronger.

But comparing the gritty, dark “Confidence” to Steven Soderbergh’s big-budget “Ocean’s Eleven” doesn’t seem any more fair than comparing the principals – Soderbergh’s all-star team of Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and George Clooney versus Edward Burns, “Mummy” alumna Rachel Weisz and Paul Giamatti. In fact, it’s not even close: “Confidence” delivers way less bling but far more bang for my eight bucks.

But that’s the pitch, anyway – a slick, noirish heist movie starring Burns, Weisz and Dustin Hoffman. It’s just not an entirely accurate pitch.



For one thing, “Confidence” doesn’t rely as heavily on Hoffman as it does Burns. And as a result, Hoffman seems to have fun with the smaller role, devouring scenery (and Ritalin) as sexually ambiguous crime boss Winston “The King” King.

For another, “Confidence” is far more dark than smooth, which presents a direct contrast against “Ocean’s Eleven.” Soderbergh stacked his Rat Pack remake with golden-hearted gangsters and, without much suspense, really, tied the neat bundle together in two hours. “Confidence” director James Foley built a different beast. At gunpoint, con man Jake Vig (Burns) narrates. As Vig kneels before hit man Travis (Morris Chestnut), he comes clean about dirty cops, laundered money and bloody hands. It’s brash, dark and violent, and Foley’s style suits it well. Yet, even though Vig tells the story in flashbacks, the double-crosses make it hard to guess the outcome. Far from tying the loose ends into a neat package, “Confidence” leaves its tangle of viscera in clear view for as long as possible, then challenges the viewer to make sense of it before Jake’s narration does.


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