The Score (Frank Oz, 2001)
[originally posted on 3Aug2001]
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.
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.
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