Heist caper The Art of the Steal squanders a promising plot and capable cast in favour of one dimensional clichés and desperately unfunny gags.
Crunch Calhoun (Kurt Russell) and his brother Nicky (Matt Dillon), a duo of professional art thieves, successfully pull off their latest heist.
However, when Nicky gets busted soon after, he gives evidence against Crunch for leniency. Released five years on, Crunch is convinced to take part in one last heist – the theft and forgery of a historical text from Canadian customs. A gang of professionals are assembled for the crime; each member is known to Interpol who, using a former forger (Terence Stamp) as its guide, are tracking them down.
Russell is brilliant here - charismatic as always - and its a treat to see Terence Stamp, but they’re utterly wasted. The Art of The Steal tries appealing to as many different viewers as possible, but goes about it the wrong way.
Its laughs (I use laughs generously) are derived from stereotypes, crass humour and clichés which beat you into a sense of apathy, even unredeemed by a surprise twist later on.
The price of admission is a bigger theft than anything in this film.