Written by the Coen brothers and directed by a fellow named Michael Hoffman, known better for his romantic comedies (like the very fine One Fine Day) than his capers, Gambit is a heist movie that never really gets off the ground.
Bargaining on the awkward but fuzzy charm of its leading man, Colin Firth as art curator Harry Deane, the film is not clever enough to outfox us, and its romance – which can work wonders in a story that is handled with more prudence, like The Thomas Crown Affair – is tepid throughout, although there are several hints that Deane may be smitten.
The object of his smittenness is P.J. Puznowski (Cameron Diaz), a rodeo champ from deep in Texas, whose surname has intrigued Deane, bent on taking revenge on his boss, the ultra-rich businessman Lionel Shabandar (Alan Rickman). The reason for this revenge is never properly established, although there is a short flashback to an incident on a farm when the boss was rather mean to his thin-skinned art connoisseur.
Except for that, we are expected to simply assume that, because it is Alan Rickman playing the role, his dark qualities from the Harry Potter films will be enough to warrant our empathy for Deane.
Read the full review at The Prague Post.
(Still of Cameron Diaz and Colin Firth in Gambit via imdb.com)