<Movie Details
3 September 2009 by Chris Prince

Spanish heartthrob Banderas seems to have been away from our screens for an age, but this engaging crime thriller shows he's still got what it takes.

Teaming the Zorro star with Morgan Freeman, Thick as Thieves is a fun blend of master thief movies like Entrapment, The Usual Suspects and Ocean's Eleven.

After a botched subway heist brings him to the attention of master criminal Keith Ripley (Freeman), hot-blooded heist man Gabriel Martin (Banderas) is offered a job by the ruthless thief.

Reluctant to throw his lot in with the mysterious stranger, Martin soon changes his mind when he learns that the crook's plan involves knocking off two Faberge eggs worth $20m each.

As they go about researching the job together, Martin meets Alexandra Korolenko (Mitchell), the daughter of Ripley's former partner, and the two embark on a passionate affair.

Meanwhile, hard-nosed cop Lieutenant Weber (Forster) is hot on Ripley's tail. As he closes in on the scam, Weber discovers that the treasures that the criminals intend to steal belong to a powerful and corrupt Russian organisation.

When Alex is kidnapped by Nicky (Rade Serbedzija), a Russian gangster Ripley owes money to, their plans to rob the spangly eggs take on a new urgency, but as they get closer to the loot, betrayal and double-dealing soon rears its ugly head.

Freeman could strike up a fatherly rapport with a bag of cement, but his chemistry with Banderas is particularly enjoyable, the two creating an enjoyably pithy double act.

Leder, best known for big budget fare such as The Peacemaker and Deep Impact, keeps the action swift and slinky, the story moving fast enough to blur any implausible plot points.

Along with the two fine leads, the cast is strong across the board, with Tom Hardy, star of Sky1's The Take, showing up as Forster's underling and rent-a-Russian Serbedzija (Snatch) bringing his formidable presence to his brief scenes as Freeman's nemesis.

Above all, Thick as Thieves highlights the star quality of Banderas, the actor smouldering his way through his scenes, usually to the accompaniment of some rather unsubtle Spanish guitar music.

With some surprising twists and turns, and an exhilarating finale, this is a strong addition to the heist genre that should keep you guessing right up until the very end.