When the wealthy husband of socialite Mickey Dawson (Aniston) shows no inclination to pay her ransom, the kidnappers (Bey and Hawkes) have to think fast to keep disaster at bay.
For its first act, this black-comedy crime film, based on an Elmore Leonard book, promises an exceptional tribute to the iconic writer, who died last year. Mos Def is outshone by an excellent, vulpine-looking John Hawkes and an amusingly revolting Mark Boone Junior. They play a bungling trio who kidnap Jennifer Aniston, the unhappy wife of socialite sleazeball Tim Robbins, amid tacky ’70s fashions and tackier attitudes. After the farcical, suspenseful opening, disturbingly funny in the way of Fargo, the film slowly deflates, the dry chuckles thin out, and there’s a disgraceful yuck-it-up punchline.
Missing the punchy plotting of the Coens thriller it resembles, the early chuckles don't quite translate into a satisfying whole.