Featured image via The Hollywood Reporter
Just because a pizza has barbeque sauce, fried chicken, and all the yummy toppings you love does not mean that the pizza will be good. Almost identically, just because the amazing Uma Thurman made a con movie does not mean it is any good. And it is not.
The Con is On follows married con artists Harriet (Uma Thurman) and Peter (Tim Roth) as they escape a British mobster (Maggie Q) that they crossed by taking her money to spend on gambling and drugs. The couple fly off to Los Angeles to hide at an old friend’s house and Peter “runs into” his ex-wife. Through all the mess, loyalties are in question, lives are at stake, and money is an elusive target.
Seems fun? Well, it’s not.
The main issue with this film is that the audience does not care if the characters live or die, and in the actual live or die situations of the film, this is kind of important. The filmmakers thought that having a characters follow particular patterns is the same as creating three-dimensional characters; just because Harriet has a gambling problem and she is a constant smoker does not mean audiences will love her, nor does Peter’s excessive and constant drinking and drug abuse ensure sympathy. These traits are about as personal as the film gets with the characters, leaving them shallow shells of unimportant information.
The other main issue with the film is the failed attempts at comedy that somehow follow a sixth grader’s sense of humour. Audiences are not going to fall out of their chairs laughing just because a nun cursed, or Peter cursed twenty times in one sentence. Maybe this film is made for elementary and middle school kids who laugh every time someone curses but, since it says nothing of this sort on the poster then, it is an issue.
Its also not funny when a priest talks about molestation like he is making his morning tea, and having a victim see the priest who molested him is certainly not a call for laughter. The feature actually deals with this a lot; having sad scenes that are meant to be funny, like Peter’s drug consumption, which by the end of the film starts to get pretty sad.
As for the acting, Uma Thurman showed off her amazing acting chops and her oozing charisma, but her performance was stunted by the two dimensionality of the character which was mainly the fault of the screenplay. Tim Roth conveyed a character who is basically a useless drunk, so if that is what the filmmakers wanted, he nailed it. But if they actually wanted a useful character than he was a miss. Roth was also portrayed as a ridiculously handsome man that every woman wants, and that could have been the case, but perhaps many many, many decades ago. Maggie Q delivered on her role as the mobster and did her talents justice. Stephen Fry was creepy enough to play the molesting priest and his performance only minorly lacked dimensionality.
You can go watch this film and waste your time, or you can do just about anything else and save yourself the trouble.