‘Steal’ is bad… but still kinda good

[rating=2]Starring: Stephen Dorff, Natasha Henstridge, Bruce Payne, Steven Berkoff
Director(s): Gerard Pires
Writer(s): Mark Ezra

Stephen Dorff (l.) and Natasha Henstridge (2nd from l.) co-star in 'Steal'
Stephen Dorff (l.) and Natasha Henstridge (2nd from l.) co-star in ‘Steal’

Action films are funny things. Even when they’re bad, they can still be enjoyable. The same can’t often be said about comedies or dramas. When they’re bad, they’re just that — bad. But an action film can skirt the edge. That’s the case with Steal, which got a DVD release today.

This actioner, starring Stephen Dorff and Natasha Henstridge, is a stylized bit of action fluff. Replete with over the top action, and even more over the top characters, it’s got all the elements of a fun bad movie.

Stephen Dorff is Slim, leader of a group of thrill junkies who pull of a successful bank heist. The success of their daring crime leads them to a second, bigger job, ripping off an armored car. What they don’t expect is to find a binder with $20 million worth of bonds. But when a mysterious gangster threatens to expose them to the police, they are soon forced to carry out yet another deadly caper.

As the cops close in, and a dedicated yet reckless female detective (Henstridge) zeros in on Slim, they must outwit everyone to escape with their lives.

The premise of Steal is something of an amalgamation of several different caper concepts. There’s the clever and charming thief, the over-the-top gangster he unwittingly crosses, the female cop who falls for the clever and charming thief. Of course they were done much better in other movies. Here they are hammed up, with strange accents and bad wigs. And I can’t be certain, but it seems that the police captain played by Bruce Payne had his voice dubbed throughout the entire picture.

Natasha Henstridge is always fun to watch, but she is actually mostly absent inSteal. I’m not exactly sure why her character is even in the film, since she really doesn’t do anything. Even the love scene between her character and Dorff is a bit lame, since it’s clearly a body double.

What Steal does have is some pretty good action sequences. The effects aren’t bad, even when they’re over the top. But the whole movie, from the characters to the dialogue, is pretty much over the top. And that’s what makes it fun.

The DVD is pretty much bare-bones, with a rather lame behind the scenes featurette that is really just a bunch of fluff.

With a running time of only 84 minutes, Steal is one of those late-night action flicks you find on Cinemax or HBO that you can stay up and watch. But it’s also one that you’ll most likely forget by the time you wake up the next morning.

Rated: R
Run Time: 1 hr., 23 mins.

Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan has written, directed and produced more than a dozen short films under the banner of Maynard Films, and has worked as a writer for more than a decade for websites, magazines and newspapers.

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