Gambit feels like it’s drunk far too much caffeine. It has too much exuberance for its own good, adding up to a bit of a mess of a film which isn’t quite as good as it could have been, a particular disappointment when you consider the Coen brothers are behind the script. For all its faults, it’s still decent, frivolous fun. While Cameron Diaz’s over the top, fake Southern drawl may endlessly grate on the ears, there is something always watchable and soothing about Colin Firth. Firth plays Harry Deane, an art curator who comes up with a scheme to con his mega-rich boss Lionel Shahbander (Alan Rickman). At the beginning of the film we see the plan hatched and executed seamlessly, only for the rest of the movie to fill in the blanks as we learn exactly how much trouble went into a plan which originally looked so simple.
This acts as a nice comedic structure and it’s ultimately an enjoyable, old fashioned farce, largely staying clear of the dirge of gross out humour that haunts the cinema. It’s difficult to watch without constantly thinking that this could be even funnier but there’s enough to pass the time and it recovers well from an overly energetic beginning by delivering a much more solid second and third act.
Review by David Rank
Gambit is out on 21st November in the UK and out on 16th November in the UK. Certificate 12A (UK). Running time 89 mins.
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