Review: The Maiden Heist
Pete Hewit’s The Maiden Heist is a vehicle similar to Clint Eastwood’s Space Cowboys. It showcases veteran actors reveling in their old age, rather than shying away from it. Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken and William H. Macy star as security guards at an art museum. Each one of them has become enamored by pieces that they are assigned to protect. Sadly for them, the curator of the museum made a reciprocal deal with a gallery in Denmark to exchange their beloved artwork with Danish exhibitions. The three men then devise a plan to steal the artwork that involves crafting replicas to switch-out with the originals.
The strength of the film is the likeability of the characters. Each of the three leads brings a certain charm and dignity to their roles, even when botching their mission. And yes, there are plenty of screw-ups. Christopher Walken commissions a young street artist to replicate the painting ‘The Lost Maiden” with money stolen from the Florida vacation fund that he shares with his wife (Marcia Gay Harden.) After being questioned about the missing amount, he proceeds to dig himself deeper into trouble by telling her that he took the money to make an advance payment on a surprise trip to the Sunshine State. William H. Macy is almost caught butt-naked by a security guard while posing in front of a statue that represents male virility. And all three of the men take terrible crashes while practicing rappelling down the side of a building using Macy’s military gear and trusting his experience from Grenada (Pronounced ‘Grenade-a’ by Macy). In the hands of less accomplished actors, the jokes and plot could have fallen flat, but the warmth of the characters keeps us laughing along during their exploits.
Originally, The Maiden Heist was supposed to receive a limited theatrical run, but after its production company, Yari Film Group, experienced financial troubles, the movie went straight to DVD. But honestly, the small screen seems a more appropriate venue for the film. There are no big surprises, scene stealing performances, or anything revolutionary. But with the few expectations and little promotion afforded to it, The Maiden Heist makes for a surprisingly funny and entertaining rental.