I recently rewatched the film Focus, starring Margot Robbie and Will Smith and god did I miss films like these!
Who does not love watching con movies?
In a world full of drama, who wouldn’t love films centered in deception and misdirection?
It is one thing to witness a detective’s daring finesse while solving an unsolvable crime and also another to watch bold criminals attempt to do seemingly impossible things, like trick an A.I. system, or rob a mob boss! This movie genre, though not an original one, has gradually developed over time and with such amazing actors and film crew, some films within the category are always fun to watch and rewatch.
The Now You See Me franchise, for example is such a deceptively catchy film. Granted, the flair does seem a but forced but you, as an audience still gets pulled into and want in on the action.
What’s amazingly done and staged in all of these films, their common ground, is the flair that the criminals do their con and how they make you root for them. The thrill of their planning stage up to its execution, and the explanation at the end, astounds.
Ocean’s 11 is a tad influential for someone who does not know much about the genre and just loves go to movies to have fun. This is one worthy remake. A mixture of intelligence, charm, and witty deception, this film was what got me really hooked to the film genre.
Inception has such a great cast and great cinematography. You can never go wrong with mind games and the director sure did play with its audience all throughout the film. I liked it not only for its cool cast, and the quotable lines, but for its simple plot and the intricateness of how the story was woven. The combination of real and unreal, and the catch phrase “dream within a dream” are just a few of the film’s intricate web all open to many interpretations from its audience.
21! Kevin Spacey, undoubtedly one of the most believable bad guy in the world, recruits 6 guys from MIT. The art of card counting has never been this fun and morally questioning. This film is ambiguous and leaves you rooting for the bad guys.
And of course, a classic take, but still the best; that’s what one can say about the film, The Sting. Formed from a simple plot: revenge, two con men embark on an impossible task to get even and rob a mob boss. Always a fun movie to rewatch.
Catch Me If You Can, a collaboration between Leonardo diCaprio and Tom Hanks is enough, right? If it isn’t, how about I tell you that the main protagonist is based on a real person who successfully stole millions of dollars through fake checks and posing as different kinds of professionals? The fast-paced drama between Leo and Tom is a must-watch, even for those not really a fan of the genre.
Then of course there are those where the twist was given right from the start, the gist of the film was handed down to the audience but the filmmakers crafted it in a way where you still want another outcome. I am not, however, talking about 500 Days of Summer, but an equally deceptive The Prestige. Not like all the others previously mentioned, where stealing is the game, here it is all about magic tricks. For some, this would not fit in the category, but its daring attitudre and the actors believable rivalry as magicians is too good to pass up on, so I might as well talk about it. The film, started with a monologue and the very twist given to the audience, they just did not notice it yet. As the film progresses and the viewers seem to forget the ‘truth’ the same frame shot appears and you go, ‘Oh, so that’s what this was about!’ They sure did take Sherlock Holmes’s quote and slapped it into the viewers. You see but you do not observe. Like a magic trick, you would want to watch it again the second it’s over.
All these and more are living proof that the con films franchise is a booming genre and it is still developing. There are of course, those like The Fast and Furious series and The Italian Job with a little action in them but for a con film fanatic, the mark of a true con film, and what would make it stand out toward the rest is: how they con their audience.