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Review Gambit (2012)

genre: comedy, heist

Incredible poor remake of Gambit (1966, starring Michael Caine and Shirly Maclaine). While the original was full of humour it also had the suspense and clever plot needed for a heist film. None of that is to be found in this version. Here the focus lies more on the comedy elements which would have been fine if it were actually to be funny. Apart from a few scenes it was a little embarrassing to see Colin Firth pretty much giving an Inspector Clouseau imitation. Maybe some might find it charming to see him goofing off in all kinds of situations. But to me it is a little puzzling to witness such a fine actor and the rest of the cast also fail to make an impact except for maybe Alan Rickman. He simply is born to play these kinds of roles. Cameron Diaz has zero chemistry with Firth and is pretty much unlikable. In the original it was the interaction and chemistry between Caine and MacLaine that made Gambit stand out from the other films in the heist genre. Shirley Maclaine was also very essential to the plot. It made sense for her to be more involved with the heist since at one point she became romantically interested in Dean (Michael Caine). Here they gave Cameron Diaz a faulty reason to begin with and she magically turns into an accomplice while only a day before she was fed up with the scheme and Colin Firth. There was hardly any romancing going one between Firth and Diaz so it is a bit perplexing why she suddenly would help out. It is all a little too convenient which is understandable of course. But without the romantic interest between the characters it makes no sense for her to be there at all. I also got the feeling that some scenes with essential events were cut out. Like scenes explaining why we should root for Dean. Narration by yet another unknown character alone simply won't do. In all honesty, stay clear from this remake. It pales in comparison to the original that till this date is strong and far superior. 

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