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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

DIAMOND HEIST -- DVD Review by Porfle

Imagine sitting down to watch a movie with Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones called DIAMOND HEIST (2012)--thinking, quite understandably, that it's going to be about a diamond heist--and then finding out that it's a dreary, unfunny crime comedy about two Hungarian schlubs mistaken for a pair of popular male strippers known as "The Magic Boys." (Which, incidentally, was the film's original title.)

Even if you think that sounds like comedy gold, chances are you're going to find this mess disappointing. It's one of those bad direct-to-DVD flicks that guys like Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones lend their names and faces to for an easy paycheck and then mug their way through like it was a home video. (Which I think would be a cool way to make a living and would totally do myself if I could.)

The story opens with Madsen--in the role of Terence, an eccentric strip-club tycoon and diamond smuggler--smashing a yogurt buffet in the restaurant of the posh London hotel where he lives because he's lactose intolerant and his special goat's milk yogurt is nowhere to be seen. I wasn't sure if this was in the script, or if they'd just secretly filmed him at the craft services table between shots.

There's a lot of crosscutting while the film throws a passel of new characters at us along with some really annoying music and visuals. The best I could decipher it, two male strippers ("The Magic Boys") disappear from one of Michael Madsen's clubs and he sends his mousey assistant "Bad News" to Hungary to find two more. As fate would have it, the two Hungarian schlubs, David and Zoli, are on the run after witnessing Vinnie knocking off a guy, and they end up posing as the missing Magic Boys for free passage to London.

David and Zoli are like a cross between "Dumb and Dumber" and the two "Wild and Crazy Guys" when they hit town and are situated in their luxury suite. Bad comedy ensues when they take the stage at Madsen's club and reveal their incompetence while big Mike makes faces and groans.

He later gets the two on their knees at gunpoint in his office and does the whole "I'm the last guy you want to f*** with!" routine, which is always great for a few laughs. Then, inexplicably, he decides that the act will be improved if he forces his right-hand man Splendid Ben (an understandably embarrassed-looking Tamer Hassan, KICK-ASS, FREERUNNER, THE DOUBLE) to join it. You can almost hear Kenny Banya bleating "It's gold, Jerry! Gold!" when the three next appear onstage in full drag. It's as though my sense of humor has been injected with novocaine.

(Meanwhile, elsewhere in London, the REAL Magic Boys also end up on the wrong stage and find themselves getting raped by a hairy, leather-bound gay behemoth. It's fun for the whole family!)

The movie tries to get cute and charming here and there, with one of the Hungarian guys getting cutely chummy with the cute black lady (singer Jamelia as "Cherry Valentine") who works for Mikey as a diamond smuggler but is really not what she seems and zzzzzzzz. As an example of the film's cliched dialogue, the following exchange takes place when he asks about her past:

"That's a bit of a long story."
"I have time."

We find that Cherry's past is actually key to the whole thing, and the lovestruck Hungarian guy decides he must help her in her mission against Mike and/or Vinnie, which is complicated when Vinnie suddenly shows up in London. Things finally perk up when Cherry makes her move during a lavish birthday bash Mike holds for himself, but the whole male stripper angle continues to dumb thing up when the real and fake Magic Boys clash-dance onstage during a lame imitation of the opera scene from THE FIFTH ELEMENT.

The DVD from Random Media is in letterboxed widescreen with Dolby 5.1 sound. No subtitles, but closed-captions are available. No extras.

However lacking it is in other areas, the most disappointing thing about DIAMOND HEIST is that there's no diamond heist. That's like calling a movie GONE WITH THE WIND and not having anything actually blow away. Or changing the name of GONE WITH THE WIND to DIAMOND HEIST.

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