Code is the name lashed onto the direct to DVD movie also know as Thick As Thieves(which is how it is listed on IMDb at the current time of this writing.) However, Code is its name on the Dvd case, which you don’t need to decipher any codes to guess why this movie skipped the theatrical run and came to the video store. Actually, you may be perplexed seeing Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas on the cover; aren’t they A list enough? Perhaps my review will help explain.
Code follows Antonio Banderas as he rob some guys on a subway train, relieving them of their precious diamond possessions. However, Morgan Freeman’s character is on the same train, apparently eyeing the same job. Things that are apparent are generally wrong in twist filled heist movies and it is laid out pretty quickly that Freeman was watching Banderas earlier than this robbery in anticipation of talking the man into pulling a heist with him. Of course it is some grand impossible job involving tight security and in this case a lot of crooked, mean Russians. Toss in a kidnapping of Ripley’s Goddaughter (Freeman’s character) as played by Radha Mitchell and double her as Antonia Banderas’ love interest and you’ve got your movie.
First off: the acting. Not bad. I like Radha Mitchell. Antonio Banderas was not too annoying and Morgan Freeman was great when delivering lines like: ‘I was born to steal shit.” Actors Robert Forster and Rade Serbedzija both have crucial roles in the movie as well, and like the leads do a fairly stand up job.
There are several lame “formula” moments in the plot, as well as some cliché moments that don’t logically work. Actually once one of the main twists are revealed there are several glaring issues that don’t make much sense involving the opening sequence and some gun play. However, I won’t ruin anything for you because you may be a Freeman or Banderas fan and wish to see this for yourself. Actually, I think you should decide to be a Radha Mitchell fan because she is uniquely sexy in this flick.
The ultimate twists of the movie are actually good stuff. The problem is the slow formula unwinding down to that point with all the useless filler material means you could walk away from the movie, miss at least half an hour of it, and come back to the end not feeling like you missed a single thing. Code is just not on par with heist movies that have made it to the big screen.
Code was directed by Mimi Leder, who’s last venture outside of television directing was the 2000 drama Pay It Forward. Perhaps her visual story telling has gotten a bit rusty because this movie didn’t hit the mark.
Code is not the worst movie ever, but it is not really worth checking out unless something about it just speaks to you from the rental shelf ala you’re a fan boy of seeing Antonia Banderas’ butt cheeks or something.