Hammy theatre actor O'Malley enlists the help of fellow thespian Tom in a scam to steal a suitcase of money that gormless lowlife criminal Barreller is supposed to be paying to mysterious crime boss Magnani. But of course, their plan goes wrong, even with the help of an extremely clever neice.
Based on an idea by Neil Jordan, The Actors had the potential to be gut-achingly funny. But instead it ends up raising a few paltry smiles.
The problem is that writer/director Conor McPherson can't decide what type of movie he is making: is it a Lock, Stock-style gangster comedy, or a Producers-like piss-take of bad theatre actors? Without the star cast, the chances are no-one would have bothered to turn up and find out.
Stand-up comic Moran, in his first major film role, provides some fun as Tom, the young, incompetent actor dragged into ageing thesp O'Malley's scheme to score some cash. But while Moran makes a watchable leading man, the reason to see this film, of course, is Michael Caine. Prancing about on stage as the world's worst Richard III, or dressed up in drag as part of his get-rich-quick scam, he camps it up brilliantly in every scene he appears in.
While seeing Caine ham it up as a vain, past-his-prime actor should be worth the ticket price alone, the sub-Guy Ritchie plot of bumbling gangsters will have you asking for that money straight back.