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The Score (2001): It Coulda Been a Contendah

The Score (Frank Oz, 2001)

[originally posted on 3Aug2001]

Edward Norton and Robert DeNiro overshadow the rest of the principal cast on the movie poster.

Unfortunately, the movie poster gives away the best scene in the movie.
photo credit: Wikipedia

The good points:
1. Edward Norton proves once again that he can do no wrong.
2. The club that Robert DeNrio’s character owns filled me with unbridled lust. It’s absolutely phenomenal.
3. Gary Farmer is also phenomenal. (You remember Gary Farmer from his immortal one-liner in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.) The chemistry between Farmer and Norton almost makes this film work.

Robert DeNiro and Marlon Brando discuss terms in a still from the film.

“You mean, you actually got paid to be in this?”
photo credit: robsmovievault.wordpress.com

The bad points:
1. DeNiro and Brando add another mediocre film to the relative crap both have been appearing in for the last few years.
2. Hollywood once again refuses to cast an all-male film, adding Angela Bassett (with second billing, no less, despite having far less screen time than either Brando or Norton) as a seeming afterthought. Bassett’s character gives us more lapses in logic and loose ends than the rest of the film put together.
3. Frank Oz is not a thriller director. This is obvious throughout.
4. The ending is a rather large letdown. The film just… ends.
5. The marketing campaign was godawful. If an ad promises an ending you’ll never guess, nine times out of ten you’ll guess it without seeing the film. This is not time number ten.
6. Marlon Brando has been hovering on the verge of death for at least a decade. I think he may have died without realizing it. He certainly looks as if he’s starting to decompose.

Edward Norton cracks a safe in a still from the film.

“Now, is it the red wire or the blue one? Eeny, meeny, minie, moe…”
photo credit: fanpop.com

Wastes two hours without too much pain, and Edward Norton continues to bat a thousand with regards to being a pleasure to watch onscreen. In fact, “Brian” may be the most entertaining character Norton has yet portrayed in a film. But Norton, Farmer, and the NYC club aren’t enough when stacked against the film’s shortcomings. ** ½

 


Trailer.

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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