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Henry's Crime (September 7/11)

An affably low-key comedy, Henry's Crime follows a sad-sack tollbooth worker (Keanu Reeves' Henry) as he decides to rob a local bank - which he plans to accomplish by digging through the theater next door.

In its initial stages, Henry's Crime boasts as off-kilter and consistently surprising a storyline as one can easily recall - as filmmaker Malcolm Venville effectively toys with the viewer's expectations by changing the narrative's direction on an impressively consistent basis (ie the film at first appears to be about a guy trapped in a dead-end existence, then it segues into a prison-themed story, etc, etc).

And while it is subsequently a little disappointing to note that the film ultimately does settle into a rather conventional groove, Henry's Crime remains perfectly watchable from start to finish due primarily to the uniformly agreeable performances. Reeves' expectedly stirring turn is matched by his various costars, with James Caan's impressively loose work as Henry's shady (yet weary) partner undoubtedly a standout (and there's little doubt that Vera Farmiga, cast as Henry's brassy love interest, is quite good, too).

Having said that, Henry's Crime does run into some trouble as it approaches its expectedly hackneyed conclusion - as the movie suffers from a stagnant atmosphere that's exacerbated by an emphasis on almost eye-rollingly stale elements (ie a fake break-up).

It's a shame because the movie is otherwise quite enjoyable and entertaining, as the strength of the opening hour, coupled with the charismatic performances, ensures that Henry's Crime is, more often than not, an undeniably worthwhile piece of work.

out of

About the Blu-ray: Henry's Crime arrives on Blu-ray armed with a pristine 1080p transfer. Bonus features are, curiously, completely non-existent, though.
© David Nusair