The Con Artist Review

If you’re watching a film about an ex-con who falls into the world of art and you’re gut reaction is to guess that the climax will involve the heist of a piece of art, no one could really blame you. The heist genre, for all the innovations it’s seen, still tends to fall back on overly familiar tropes – The Con Artist avoids them. However, it doesn’t do so by coming up with some truly brilliant heist or plan, it does it by just opting out of that third act altogether. Instead it just sort of piddles about in the world of a reformed felon trying to get out of “the game” and finds himself in an honest line of work he’d never considered before.

After going to jail for Grand Theft Auto, Vince (Rossif Sutherland) tries to start his life anew only to get pulled forcibly back into old habits by his former boss (Donald Sutherland) intent on having Vince back as his golden boy. In his spare time, Vince tinkers about and creates a piece of art which attracts the attention of a local gallery owner (Rebecca Romijn) as he flirts with the gallery assistant (Sarah Roemer) and deals with the check-ins of his parole officer.

The odd part about this “crime thriller” is the utter lack of crime. The Con Artist amounts to little more than a film about a guy who accidently stumbles into art and his struggles to adapt to the subjective nature of its guidelines once he’s there. The fact that Vince is an ex-con or has a day job with a crime boss really has no impact on the story whatsoever. There are good odds that the role originally started off small but was increased once Director Risa Bramon Garcia learned she had two Sutherland’s lined up.

DVD Bonus Features

An audio commentary with the director is the only extra.

"The Con Artist" is on sale June 14, 2011 and is not rated. Crime, Drama. Directed by Risa Bramon Garcia. Written by Michael Melski, Collin Friesen. Starring Donald Sutherland, Rebecca Romijn, Sarah Roemer, Rossif Sutherland.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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